I might need to reconsider a facet of my less than glowing remarks in regard to Animal Collective's 'Merriwether Post Pavilion' earlier in the week. I think it fails in another regard which I initially thought might be one of the release's few positives: the production.
Uploading today's Replacements tracks from the seminal LP 'Tim', I was thinking, "Man, these tracks are CLASSIC." Pushing that thought further down the road, I was also struck by the casualness of the proceedings and production. I have no idea how many times the band ran through these numbers before landing on the performances that would be deemed worthy of the release, but the vibe is loose, nothing's compressed, mistakes are retained and not edited, there's no 'loudness' dilemma...just a band blasting through actual SONGS. Refreshing, right?
Now, there may be a song or even a melody under all of the AC klap-trap, but the production's served up with one seriously heavy hand. There's no place to breathe in these tracks which is ...odd. It's overly fussy and claustrophobic which removes the proverbial 'soul' from the release. The thing just don't swing...and oddly, 'Tim' does...even in the raucous tracks.
The beauty of meticulous production is providing a clear sonic platform for the SONGS and their individual components. (See the Trevor Horn entry from last year's Top Five Producers Ever List, for edification.) Oddly, AC's MPP cover NAILS its production aesthetic. (Ow. My eyes.)
So, what are we looking at now for 'Merriwether Post Pavilion'...a 5.0?
The Replacements - Bastards of Young (Mp3)
The Replacements - Kiss Me on the Bus (Mp3)
The Replacements - Left of the Dial (Mp3)
The Replacements - Swingin' Party (Mp3)
The Replacements - Waitress in the Sky (Mp3)