Animal Collective Painting With
The blissful euphoria of Animal Collective’s 10th studio album lasts almost two minutes, 30 seconds, right until opening track “FloriDada” pauses to sample The Surfaris’ 1963 hit “Wipe Out.” From there, listeners are left to riddle out the strange and sometimes fruitless choices made by experimental-popsters Avey Tare, Panda Bear and Geologist this time out. For every interesting turn—employing viola master John Cale to bring the drone to “Hocus Pocus,” for example—the group lights off at least one dud (see: the bit of Bea Arthur Golden Girls dialogue to kick off “Golden Gal”). The most significant sonic twist: keeping eight of Painting With’s dozen songs under four minutes (and all 12 under five), without cutting back on the sonic pyrotechnics-per-track. It somehow works on the pulsating “Natural Selection” and “Summing the Wretch,” but “The Burglars” and “Spilling Guts” cry out for more connective tissue, leaving us dizzied more than hypnotized.