Animal Collective
Strawberry Jam

Reviewed by: Andrew Gaerig
Reviewed on: 2007-09-12

Posted 09/12/2007 - 04:23:52 PM by hammmd:
 First, the proposition that "Pre-release road tests of the material have found the band sans guitar" is off-base...the material played on the recent tour without Deakin was not from Strawberry Jam, but another forthcoming album. This error seriously undercuts your credibility from the get-go. Second, the overall tone of the review is a bit harsh...there is no way that Angels of Light's new one (you graded as a B) is a better album than Strawberry Jam. I like We Are Him just fine, but it's unmistakbly inferior to anything the Collective has ever done. Overall, I give your review a C+.
Posted 09/12/2007 - 06:27:07 PM by Takomora:
 I think this album is excellent. I believe hammmd is correct when I saw them live there were new songs that were not on this album.
Posted 09/12/2007 - 06:47:06 PM by smezzer:
 best review of this album i've read, or at least the one i most agree with. The description of it as "exhausting" is particularly fitting - i find it draining and oppressive when i guess it's supposed to be joyful and exhiliarating. The production is a big factor in its downfall for me, just a persistently suffocating fug of trebly electronics with very little light and shadow - there's no perspective or contrast in its overbearingness, and after a while it grates massively. I could possibly put this down to AC's abstract tendencies, and without the vocals i could possibly excuse it. But Tare's standard high pitched tone is just really fucking unpleasant, particularly considering how high he's mixed in. It adds another level of oppression to something already on the brink of collapse. This brings me to my greatest concern about Strawberry Jam. Some of the lyrics are just abysmal, the worst sort of clumsy abstraction. I've allowed them their missteps in the past (Feels had its fair share) but here awkward couplets come thick and fast, and you can't ignore them because his vocals are SO FUCKING LOUD. And because of this AC seem to lose a lot of the charm that drew me to them in the first place. This is primarily down to Tare - as a focal point he just doesn't appeal to me
Posted 09/12/2007 - 08:36:01 PM by browngirl5566:
 wow , smezzer, are you me? That is EXACTLY how I feel about this album. I could barely make it through one listen it was so irritating. I'm surprised all the people enjoying it so, but they sort of seem like a band immune at this point to a lot of criticisms, b/c they are just so gosh darned "cool"!
Posted 09/13/2007 - 02:44:12 AM by florenz6:
 The "high-pitched tone" really gets on my nerves, too. It distracts from some great passages. I´m hurrying to put Tunng´s "Good Arrows" on my player...
Posted 09/13/2007 - 04:30:27 AM by meatbreak:
 Hey Florenz, this is a bit inappropriate as a comment but - I have something for you. Myspace me or something. It's in return, as a thank you for introducing me to the gorgeous Alog. But as for this album - I like opressiveness and nasty noises and this is a bit harsh sounding and thick, dense. It would be better to bury them a bit deeper, yeah, After this review I was quite surprised at how enjoyable I found this album - though Smezzzer does nail it pretty well I like most of what s/he doesn't like. I can live with terrible lyrics - so few bands have any good ones.
Posted 09/13/2007 - 04:30:54 AM by meatbreak:
 Bury the vocals deeper that is.
Posted 09/13/2007 - 05:30:13 AM by florenz6:
 Inappropriate??? I took a look on your site - the music has good energy!! Was that the surprise? Or do you want me to contact you via email? I´m a bit reluctant with that. A quick remark from your side on Stylus - and Rasky would email me like crazy begging for an autograph!
Posted 09/13/2007 - 05:36:52 AM by meatbreak:
 No, that's not the surprise I intended. I want your email address please. I ain't putting mine up here, though a little tete-a-tete with Rask might be quite fun. Can you MySpazz me with it? (this is what I mean by inappropriate: using the comments as they are not intended to be used, but I see no other way).
Posted 09/13/2007 - 06:14:57 AM by florenz6:
 re: meatbreak - myspace doesn´t accept my password. Not the new one either. takes some time, mhh. "inappropriate" could be read in two ways, one referring to my comment:) - what can we do? Think about it - now leaving for an interview with the guy who has made my record of 2007! Back on Monday. You´re welcome on your first tour through Germany:) p.s. a rencontre with Rasky might really be fun, you´re right. At least I´m well equipped with a japanese fighting technique (only in case)
Posted 09/13/2007 - 07:02:19 AM by meatbreak:
 Re:Flo >>> Don't get all starstruck over them then. I've met the guy who wrote my record of the year - he was coked off his gourd - but I really want to meet the guy that made my number 2: Come out Fortress CrookedJaw, come out wherever you are.....
Posted 09/18/2007 - 11:34:51 AM by cwperry:
 If I don't like the singer's voice, the whole band is ruined for me. But I do like Avey Tare's voice and this album is very interesting--I look forward to hearing it more. I'm still stuck on their "People" EP and like this band more every time I spin one of their records. I was one of the folks who wrote them off based on the absurd level of Internet hype over Sung Tongs, but came around eventually. I like the album but think Sung Tongs is highly overrated and prefer Feels. Anyway, the new one is quite different than anything they've done and I see nothing grossly wrong with the album at this point.
Posted 10/31/2007 - 01:24:07 AM by browngirl5566:
 god I hate this album