In an era of independently produced electronic music, few artists attempt to step out of the formula that others have laid for them, and there aren’t many places to find anything legitimately unique in the pop music scene. With the recent release of Centipede Hz, Animal Collective continues to challenge the boundaries of what makes music, music.
Centipede Hz, released Sept. 4, is another testament to the band’s groundbreaking sound. With a diverse selection of vibrant and elaborate songs, fans will find the album a refreshing reminder of the band’s capability to create surprisingly dynamic sounds while still providing an experience that is distinctly Animal Collective.
Centipede Hz is the perfect introduction to Animal Collective’s famous, but occasionally overwhelming multi-dimensional sound. The album is satisfying to fans, while also delivering a more appealing experience for the mainstream listener. Centipede Hz also doesn’t have any of the shouting found in other songs which makes the album easier on newcomers’ ears.
Centipede Hz uses relatively consistent rhythm and significantly less intense vocals than on previous albums, where songs spontaneously explode with sudden tempo increases and vocal breakdowns. Don’t get me wrong, this album has spontaneous exploding (the song “Today’s Supernatural” delivers plenty of that) but nearly all the other songs play with a recognizable rhythm that continues as expected throughout each track. In this album, the group seems to concentrate more on delivering songs that experiment with complexity and have slight variations in rhythm instead of throwing out all the traditional aspects of music.
What really sets Centipede Hz apart from the rest is its energy— almost all of the songs are jam songs. Most of the songs are fast and electric, and the ones that aren’t provide the Collective’s typical chill, relaxed vibes. If you can remain seated through “Moonjock,” (the album opener that begins with a distorted voice reminding you, “This is the new”), then this band may not be for you. From the mind-blowing complicated patterns and melodies to the loud, fast songs, you won’t be able to prevent yourself from dancing to this album.
If you are a fan, you will love this album. Centipede Hz is an experience that will remind you of your first time listening through Strawberry Jam (2007). If you have never listened to Animal Collective before, then Centipede Hz is the perfect album to start with. Overall, it’s a fantastic, diverse collection of sounds that will fit perfectly in the Animal Collective discography and keep fans looking toward a very bright future.