August 24, 2011

Avey Tare - Down There Review

There is not a moment to spare from the beginning of Down There. Instantly Animal Collective member, Avey Tare, pulls listeners into a swampscape of blurry voices and wet beats for his debut solo effort. Animal Collective are known to craft songs that experiment with the production and style of modern music, to such a huge extent, that their music has gained a considerable cult following. This steady rise in popularity has only since exploded by the time the group released their mainstream breakout album, Merriweather Post Pavilion, in 2009. Their music can be described as freak-folk, or neo-psychedelic, but that sort of statement might even be restricting considering the group’s constant evolution. The soundscapes and emotions that Animal Collective produce in their albums, such as their guitar driven, Sung Tongs, or sample based Strawberry Jam, make their records have a true cohesion and are a real treat to experience as a full album, and a journey into the minds of these awe-inspiring musicians. However, the exclusion of three quarters of the group does not stop Avey Tare with this brilliant, surreal escape of an album, Down There. This nine track solo release goes many places, and is best experienced as a whole. Starting off with “Laughing Hieroglyphic,” Down There takes listeners under, and it flows from one song to the next, just as Avey’s voice flows next to the beat. “Glass Bottom Boat” is a short interlude, which splits the album in a way, and sets the tone for the remainder of the tracks. The swimming and water themes, when combined with the musical instruments and electronic beats, which sound as if they are just under the surface of the lagoon, leave listeners in the depths of Avey’s mind. And when thinking back on all the popular music that is designed by the dollar, and made to follow all the rules, it surely is a joy to experience the real sounds and real emotions of Avey Tare, and descend into the vast world and whimsical madness of Animal Collective’s most prominent songwriter.

Rating: 8.9/10

Recommended Tracks: Oliver Twist, Ghost of Books, Lucky 1