Isimply haven’t stopped listening to ‘Taste’ since it was released almost 2 years ago, and I am still discovering new things about it to obsess over. Thanks to topping the end of year lists, Animal Collective’s 2009 album ‘Merriweather Post Pavillion’ started to spill over into the mainstream at the start of 2010. Since then however, it seems that people still found the waves of pulsating sounds a tough listen, which it is. But persevere and a rich landscape of beautifully layered compositions emerges out of the noise, and this track is no exception.
Am I really all the things that are outside of me?
Will I complete myself without the things I like around?
Does the music that I make play on my awkward face?
Do you appreciate the subtleties of tastebuds?
Animal Collective’s declaration of self doubt over whether they are what they make can be reapplied to multiple scenarios, but this is true of any great lyric. It’s the music that sets this song apart from the rest, and the two melody lines from Avey Tare and Panda Bear that snake around each other with such grace yet never collide.
If there was ever confusion over Animal Collective’s oft-cited Beach Boys comparison, from about 1:13 this is as good an example as any. Take Brian’s falsetto from ‘I Get Around’ or ‘Dance Dance Dance’, add the off beat percussion, dreamy keyboards and pace of ‘Caroline, No’, and you have the main ingredients to ‘Taste’. Panda Bear’s soaring rival melody line is a Wilson brother classic, and the clunky beats are the modern day equivalents of those from ‘Smile’.
There are other standout songs on this album, but none marry the levels of accessibility and depth quite as effectively as this. In my mind, this is always one of the toughest challenges for anyone making music, and when executed well there is no reason to ever stop recommending it to others, or to stop listening yourself. Expect me to be repeating these words for many more years yet.