Animal Collective - Painting With: structured, short, direct yet tainted with a nagging sense of incompletion
After 15 years of mind-altering and genre-bending releases, have we come to expect too much from Animal Collective?
The biggest surprise on their 10th studio album is just how unsurprising it is.
Written through intense jamming sessions and recorded as a trio (Deakin absented himself to focus on solo material), the songs on Painting With cut to the chase; structured, short, direct yet tainted with a nagging sense of incompletion.
At their peak (FloriDada, The Burglars, Golden Gal) the sublime and ridiculous mix wondrously, channelling The Beach Boys in 32-bit psychedelic pop colour.
Less inspiring are mono-paced plodders Vertical and Natural Selection while Spilling Guts and Summing The Wretch sound like sub-par Panda Bear additions.
Not a bad musical journey by any means, just one in need of some show-stopping detours.