Centipede, however, stands well on its own - the band has taken the pop elements from their hugely successful previous album and drenched them in layers of ambient sound. The result is a group of songs that may take more work to really dig into, but reward the listener all the same.
Highlights include “Today’s Supernatural,” the lead single that sounds like a twisted, bouncy circus, and “Rosie Oh,” which sports a springy riff that compliments the opaque lyrics quite well. Many of the best songs work because they don’t need all the extra noise; for example, if you stripped down “Wide Eyed”, you’d get a beautiful song reminiscent of the Beach Boys on Pet Sounds. “Wide Eyed” is also the first song in Animal Collective history where band member Deakin sings lead vocals, and his relaxed tone provides a welcome contrast to Avey Tare’s rushed yelps.
Centipede Hz is not as immediately arresting as its predecessor. However, that in no way makes it a bad record. Fans of the band should definitely pick the album up, it rewards further listening with everything one expects from Animal Collective: childlike wonder, interesting melodies, and, most of all, fun.
Written by Kia Farhang, Radio K volunteer.