The Painters by Animal Collective – Music Review


Lisbon’s music nerd is back for a review of the new Animal Collective album The Painters. Experimental/psychedelic pop group Animal Collective is back with their sister release, The Painters, which is related to their 2016 album Painting With. That 2016 release was one of Animal Collective’s worst albums so I was excited and also very nervous to hear this release. Would they continue with the new sound or go back to their roots of hypnotic, fantasy world of sounds that they were able to give us album after album. You could say from their ’04 release, Sung Tongs, up until ’09 with Merrywhether Post Pavilion, they were on a mean streak of fantastic albums.

This album is an extended play, meaning it is not full enough to be a long play album, but not short enough to be a single. It kicks off with the track Kinda Bonkers which is hypnotic and groovy. Lyrically it is easy to follow as Avery Tare is singing about how our world today seems to be falling apart and becoming “kinda bonkers”. It is a theme effectively carried out through the track and uses very interesting plays in the lyric writing. I was very pleased with this track as it was something new to the table and didn’t feel recycled from the album Painting With.

Track 2 is Peacemaker, which is Panda Bear’s contribution to the album, it is very eerie and again groovy. It definitely paints a neat atmosphere to the listener. Not the best track on this EP, but for sure not the worst. It is an easy listening and calm piece.

Track 3 is Goalkeeper which is the most forgettable track. It is a very driving song with a silly Seinfeld bass being blasted in the back. This track feels like a Painting With B-side, with its choppy and shared vocals and lack of content. It is an okay song but not good by any means.

Track 4 is the final track, Jimmy Mack, which is a cover song by the same name from the 60’s. It is the best track on this album. It is driving, fun and powerful. The instrumentation makes you feel like you’re driving down the Santa Monica Boulevard with the top down in the sunset. The neat thing about Animal Collective is that when I first listened, I thought it was an original song until I looked at its credits.

I very much enjoyed this album and I think it is a great leap in the right direction for Animal Collective. It is by no means a perfect ten but it is one of the best albums of the year so far. It could very possibly hold that spot for me the rest of the year. I am giving this album a nine rating. Animal Collective definitely has come back and they are coming back strong. I can only anxiously await their next release.