Spin: A waterlogged sample of a voice croaking, "You can dance" opens Animal Collective's ninth album, and it's a sign of what's to come, even if the trio take their time before dropping a beat. Two-plus minutes of woozy ambience waft by as singer Avey Tare wishes, "If I could just leave my body for a night." Then, suddenly, the dam bursts and "In the Flowers" floods the senses with rib-rattling bass and a giant 4/4 thump that could be transmitting from a Berlin superclub.
Rolling Stone: Merriweather is the soundtrack for the ultimate hippie/ambient tribal dance party, a giddy, freewheeling, psychedelic beast of an album, full of big beats, trippy drones and glistening synths dancing around the band’s rich, reverb-drenched, fugue-like vocal layers.
Pitchfork: Since their inception, Animal Collective have wandered the territorial edges of music, scoping out where boundaries had been erected and looking beyond them. They've punctuated perfectly likeable indie rock songs with bleating vocalizations. They've seeded pretty instrumentals with irritating noise. They've juxtaposed West African rhythms and melodies cribbed from British folk. They've stayed on a single chord for 10 minutes. But Merriweather feels like a joyous meeting in a well-earned, middle place-- the result of all their explorations pieced together to create something accessible and complete.
Pop Matters: Did you think this was going to pan Merriweather Post Pavilion? Sorry, can’t oblige—I’m as guilty as the most effusive critic of Animal Collective-love. So here goes. Merriweather Post Pavilion is a masterstroke, a release so fun to listen to it makes you actually hopeful for the new year, not just for music but for life in general. It’s musically sophisticated, of course, boiling up the band’s characteristic components of techno, tribalism, drone and noise with gorgeous melody into an addictive optimism.
New York Times: For a group that has rarely seemed concerned with accessibility, “Merriweather” is a significant step toward a more polished sound and a wider audience. The album has received rapturous advance praise from many blogs and music magazines — the music site Pitchfork.com gave it one of its highest ratings since 2004 — and the band quickly sold out a release-week tour. Peter Berard, an executive at Domino Records, said the vinyl edition of the album essentially sold out Jan. 6, the day it was released.
Baltimore Sun: The processed sounds bleat, converge and tumble. Beats pulsate as majestic choruses build and build before giving way to layers of fuzzy synths that churn and then disperse. At times, one song sounds like three different tunes.
Boston Globe: Forget that latest national unemployment report or the news from the Middle East. Here's the real proof the world's gone topsy-turvy: Animal Collective, the wildest purveyors of tribal psychedelia this side of the Amazon Basin, have written an album about getting old. And not just old, but all domestic and stuff.
Robin Pecknold, lead singer of Fleet Foxes: What a beautiful thing. This record makes me want to cry. . . . I saw Noah Lennox backstage at the Pitchfork festival and could hardly contain myself, like meeting Elvis. I bumbled a couple dumb words and cursed myself for looking like a Black Crowes monster.