Animal Collective set fire to the musical world over the past decade, whether you know it or not. The experimental, noise rock group innovated the game and inspired dubstep artists around the world along with bands such as MGMT. The group exploded in 2009 with Merriweather Post Pavilion and its catchy single “My Girls.” But as if bored with the recent boom in popularity, frontman Avey Tare set off on his own and put out his first studio album under his own name Down There.
The album is what you would expect from a member of Animal Collective —- it’s a wall of sound of complex noises and beats. Tare proves he is a musical MacGyver on Down There as he combines eccentric sounds that don’t belong together and turns them into music. The sound of water running has never made you want to dance more.
The problem with Down There, though, is it sounds just like an Animal Collective album. It’s engrossing and sucks you down a rabbit hole. But it’s a rabbit hole that every Animal Collective fan has been into. There aren’t any strong singles, but that doesn’t really matter. Like any Tare-made album, Down There should be listened to in its entirety in one sitting.
When the final beat drops of Down There, the only thing that will determine if you like it is if you were a fan before Tare went solo. If not, there is nothing unique enough that will rope you in. And if you’re a casual fan, there is nothing dramatically different enough to keep you hooked.