Album: Merriweather Post Pavilion
Artist: Animal Collective
Label: Domino Records
Once an underground indie mainstay, Animal Collective effectively blew up in 2009, taking the world by storm with Merriweather Post Pavilion. Always on the cusp of innovation, the band reached new, dizzying heights with the effort-- the likes of which the band's oldest fans, nor any onlookers, every thought possible. The album was brash, exciting and electrifying. It was danceable, catchy and fun, functioning as the group's career masterpiece though the existential pop collection resembled nothing they'd ever put together before.
Merriweather Post Pavilion didn't redefine music, but it did blur the lines of what could be acceptable in the realm of mainstream pop. In a year full of electronic experimentation all across the board, this was the opening shot-- a tone-setting moment that started the ball rolling on a landmark year for indie acts. Songs like the hit "My Girls" and "Summertime Clothes" gained radio play and traction across the board, yet the band's reputation as the unique innovators they are never waned. If anything, Animal Collective is seen in a more positive light by their longtime fans now than they were beforehand. How the music world responds to their arrival from here on however, will be the true indicator of MPP's lasting importance.
Best Track: "My Girls"
[Previously on Animal Noises: Best Albums of 2009: #3, Dinosaur Jr.'s Farm]