all 42 comments

[–]JelyBoy64 30 points31 points  (2 children)

It's got a very magical weird vibe that I can't really put into words. I'm not a big fan of the high pitched ringing that's on a couple of tracks but other than that I think it's a great album. Chocolate Girl is top tier Animal Collective

[–]callmeroo 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Chocolate Girl is one of the GOAT Animal Collective songs.

[–]folieadeux6 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Before the drums kick in all the noise dies down and it's just the hook being sung over the strumming guitar. What a great fucking moment

[–]Cherry_Cherall white and naked 24 points25 points  (0 children)

Literally the best album ever IMO. No contest.

I love every song on this album(even untitled), but AatP, Chocolate Girl, and Alvin Row are even better than the rest of the songs. It's the perfect album in my eyes and I don't see my opinion changing any time soon. 11/10

[–]whereartestebanthe greatest goalie 17 points18 points  (0 children)

Theres a certain mist to these songs, dreamy/meant-to-be type shit.

You leave my boy alone

[–]Maxiscoolerthanyouhehe 12 points13 points  (1 child)

Just the way that Noah flourishes over those drums, syncopation over syncopation, is so mind bending.

The fact that there isn’t any footage of this makes the mental image seem almost mythological in the way that it seems that he has four arms at once. Especially in La Rapet.

[–]suburban_beverage19 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I think he layers a lot of the percussion

[–]gregphipps37we got the Good Crew™[M] 16 points17 points  (1 child)

Such a great concept album. I can see Avey high in his dorm room messing with his synth, experimenting with frequencies, feeling homesick. So many great tracks on it.

I love that Bat You’ll Fly is in 7/8 and it’s not immediately obvious. What a jam that song is

I also love Penny Dreadfuls, it needs to be played live one day bc it’s so fuckin entrancing

Someday I’ll Grow to Be As Tall As the Giant is a great little jam, especially while running

Chocolate Girl is one of the best songs Avey’s ever written. It’s only surpassed by the epic ender Alvin Row (first minute of ear rape aside). That song’s progression and overall story puts me right in the feels.

I heard this album on a Lucy trip and it clicked for me. Every part of the harsh noise and fairy-like melodies made sense to me. I finally felt in a place of zen while listening to Spirit They’ve Vanished. It was a 10/10 experience. So glad I finally came around to this one <3

[–]fish_cum 7 points8 points  (0 children)

The ear rape that starts Alvin is essential to the structure of the song. The song begins with hostile uncertainty and ends with a blissful release. It is perfect. My favorite song ever written.

[–]mtroiani29 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Definitely the hardest album to get into as I first got into AnCo. Everything else I was able to jam to, but this album with its crazy ear splitting overtone was one I stayed away from. When I finally gave it a chance, I fell in love with it.

I can’t fathom two 20 year olds (or close to it) writing an album like that.

Every song takes you through a roller coaster.

My favorite songs are:

April and the Phantom Chocolate Girl Bat You’ll Fly Alvin Row

My recommendation:

Give this album a chance

[–]TJ-HollandNever Eat an Apple That's Just One Color 2 points3 points  (0 children)

You really mean to tell me this was harder to get into/jam to than Danse (or Hollindagain if you count it)?

[–]AnarchyAppleNow I'm hallucinating, Queen in my pictures 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Spirit They’ve Vanished is still my vote for the best song from these guys. It’s the perfect tone setter.

However I don’t really come back to this album as much as something like Danse or Campfire Songs. The production is one of the reasons.

[–]Dr_Irrational_PhD 7 points8 points  (2 children)

Hello bois, very new here, have only listened to a few Anco albums (MPP, Spirit They've Gone and Feels). I do intend on exploring their full catalog as I have greatly enjoyed what I have listened to. Spirit is surprisingly my favorite so far; I didn't expect that as I was told it would be very experimental and hard to enjoy when compared to MPP (the one I listened to first). It's certainly experimental, but it's beautiful all the same.

It's got this really alien vibe that the blurb in this OP helped me understand better with the knowledge that it's supposed to be as if it is from literal children. Panda Bear's drumming is amazing, and Avery's singing is entrancing because he's not abiding by any rules and just going for it and even when it doesn't work, it works. The album is crazy and entrancing and insane and beautiful, and if you check back in a few months I think it'll have found its way into my list of favorite albums.

favorite tracks: Penny Dreadfuls, Chocolate Girl, Alvin Row

[–]pigammon[S] 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Welcome to the club! I feel that Spirit is slapped with the experimental tag because of the harsh noise sections - Danse Manatee, their next album, is where it really goes off the deep end. Listen to Strawberry Jam next!

[–]Dr_Irrational_PhD 0 points1 point  (0 children)

On it, thanks for the suggestion 👍

[–]DucksOnduckOnDucks 5 points6 points  (5 children)

A work of pure genius and creativity imo. Unbelievable to think Dave and Noah recorded something like this at such a young age. The fairy tale turned nightmare sonic and lyrical delivery is absolutely perfect for broaching themes of the young adult existential crisis — uncertainty, innocence lost, and the threat of aging. This album includes some of the best synthesis of any AnCo record and Noah’s absolute best drumming, the baseline and melody in the second half of Alvin Row are absolutely fantastic, an incredible combination of concept and raw musical talent, delivered at exactly the right time in these guys lives for maximum impact.

Spirit is my absolute favorite AnCo record and one of my favorite albums ever made, notable songs include April and the Phantom, La Rapet, and of course Alvin Row, an opus of song. Valid criticisms tend to focus on the harsh noise present in a couple of the tracks, specifically the opener, April and the phantom, and the intro to Alvin Row, as well as the album’s slow pacing. My biggest complaint personally is somewhat muddy mixing and mastering, would love to see Dave remaster it but I suspect that will never happen.

The amount of raw emotional impact in this album is really stunning, akin in its existential musings to fantastic albums of the same era such as Modest Mouse’s The Moon and Antarctica and the Microphone’s The Glow Pt 2. Dave really bears his soul on this one in ways I think he never has since. Perfect listening for cold winter nights.

[–]varovec 4 points5 points  (0 children)

the muddy vocals are on purpose, as far as I know, in order to get "dreamy" or "urcentain" feel

[–]kingcon2k11I'm the phantom 2 points3 points  (2 children)

What are some other notable albums of that era? I love TMAA and The Glow Pt 2.

[–]DucksOnduckOnDucks 4 points5 points  (1 child)

If you haven’t listened to the other two albums in the microphones trilogy definitely start there. It was hot, we stayed in the water is fucking amazing and so is Mount Eerie, but it’s a little tougher to get into.

Elliott Smith’s Either/Or was a little earlier but definitely touches on those existential themes. Godspeed You! Black Emperor released Lift Your Skinny Fists at the turn of the century as well and Sigur Ros released Ágætis Byrjun in 2000. Of course Radiohead also came out with OK Computer and Kid A in that time frame as well. Yo La Tengo came out with And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out in 2000 too.

Honestly 1999-2001 was an absolutely incredible stretch for music, it’s seriously worth just combing through the pitchfork year end lists for those years and hearing everything on them (Spirit is missing from the 2000 list unfortunately, despite a very respectable 8.7)

[–]kingcon2k11I'm the phantom 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thank you I'm gonna do some digging

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I don't like the harsh sound effects. I do really like how unique the songs are relative to the rest of the catalog.

I'm not a fan of the mix in some places but it doesn't kill some songs the way the sound effects do.

I think its good but I don't like it as much as Sung Tongs, Feels, Strawberry Jam, and MPP.

[–]The_Great_Curveleave my bOOOOY ALOOONE 2 points3 points  (0 children)

What the heck how did I miss the album discussion for my all time favorite album?!

Penny Dreadfuls and Alvin Row are the only two songs I’ve ever heard that made me tear up and sent shivers down my back and smile at how awe-strikingly amazing they are at the exact same time.

Also I’ve only ever listened to this album alone in the darkness of my room at like 1-2:00 in the morning right before I go to bed

[–]TyRezac 2 points3 points  (0 children)

My favorite album of all time. I didn't like it at first but it grew on me more and more. I am proud to say I own the album on vinyl (my grandparents bought it off discogs for my 20th birthday.) The album is an atmospheric trip of nostalgia and beauty. Every track is incredible and never tiring to listen to and they're all personal in their own way. If anyone was to ask me what my favorite song is, I would say Alvin Row in under a second. Never have I heard a song with such great progression, flavor and beauty than this track.

Tracks ranked

  1. Alvin Row
  2. April and the Phantom
  3. Chocolate Girl
  4. Penny Dreadfuls
  5. La Rapet
  6. Bat You'll Fly
  7. Untitled
  8. Spirit They've Vanished
  9. Someday I Will Grow to Be as Tall as the Giant
  10. Everyone Whistling

[–]MaeBorowskisGhost 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Can never comprehend how they made such a masterpiece this early, beats out a lot of later albums

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Great album, but I have always thought the excerpt quoted above gave the album the meaning it needed to work. In the context of these being the first songs two children made together, it becomes even more alien and freakish. It’s also an implication that humanistic and animalistic tendencies are related through music. Sends a shiver down to my very core whenever I read it.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

So has anyone actually played this album around dogs? Are the rumors true?

[–]Superspookyghostlike following angels 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Avey specifically said that Southern Records called him back and asked if something was wrong with the recording, because it made their dogs run out of the room. Maybe they just had some sensitive dogs.

Still though, I can't imagine dogs would like untitled, Spirit They've Vanished, or the beginning of April and the Phantom very much.

[–]itsjustbrandon 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Untitled is the best song on the album

[–]RolIingStones 1 point2 points  (0 children)

i would like to hear them return to this really loud, almost harsh noise sound. now that their production has become way more crisp and top notch it would go over very well.

[–]_2ndPlanetIf we're miscommunicating, do we feel the same? 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This is a good album to play at 2 AM in the morning... typically this and Kid A are what I go to in the early AM. I think it is incredibly unique. I don't think it is as good as Feels and Strawberry Jam (my personal Anco favs), but this is an album with merit. It can be a hard listen, for obvious reasons, but I like every song (I usually skip the title track, however). This is probably my favorite album art of all time, not that that matters that much. My favorite songs are April & The Phantom, Untitled, Penny Dreadfuls, Chocolate Girl, and Alvin Row. I know that's half the album but I don't think I can narrow it down...

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (6 children)

What do you like/dislike about the album?

I fucking love the vibe, atmosphere, sounds, and feel I get when I listen to this. The overall entire feel of it is fucking great. I don't know how to explain it, but it feels like i'm in some fairy tale or some shit. Like some Thumbelina shit, it's great. Very nostalgic feeling for some reason too. Probably because there's some childish vocals or melodies. Everyone i've seen talk to has a similar interpretation of the album which is awesome.

What I dislike is the fucking ear rape. In some ways I like the inclusion of it (not sure why), but it just goes on for way too fucking long on some songs, or that's literally all that will be going on in a part of a song and I have to skip that song, even if it's only the intro part of a song. Untitled is literally just spamfucking an annoying noise over an otherwise good piano piece.

It makes it impossible for me to enjoy the album as a whole, so I have to make a playlist of the non-ear rapey songs in order to enjoy the "album." It also comes off as very amateurish too. Ruined the album in my opinion.

What is/are your favorite track(s) on the album?

  1. Chocolate Girl - I think this song is the epitome of the amazing atmosphere/feel of the album here. It's just too strong to describe. The buildup to the little acoustic part of the song at the end is so worth it. I've never heard a more beautiful sounding acoustic guitar being played in a song. I could probably cry listening to it, it's that good.

  2. Bat You'll Fly - I'm not musically literate, but I like how at one point, it will sound like a cheery christmasy/wintery sounding song, then it gets a little gloomy, then it goes back to the wintery lyrics/instruments. The ending is probably my favorite.

  3. La Rapet - The Isabel part is prob my favorite. Also like the vocals/lyrics on it.

Do you think it still holds up after all this time?

Since it has a big nostalgia feel for me, i'd say yes. This isn't really like other music people listen to, so YMMV greatly in my opinion!

How much road would a phantom walk if a phantom could walk road?

To get to the other side.

[–]Hobbes-GreatJob 8 points9 points  (5 children)

ear rape

Some on man - noise and particularly harsh noise has been a part of experimental and even pop for a while now. I think it's reductive to dismiss Avey's choices because I think he nails it.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (4 children)

It's irritating though and i've never heard this type of noise being used unironically in a song before. Yeah he does stuff like this a lot, but this one is exclusively annoying. I cannot view it as anything else but an annoying noise. It's hard not to personally.

[–]Hobbes-GreatJob 3 points4 points  (2 children)

Listen to Black Dice and Eric Copeland's stuff.....or, I guess... don't do that if it's so off-putting. I think some people are more sensitive to it, especially the higher pitches (e.g. misophonia).

I think a lot of the noise experimentation is what gives it such an otherworldly feel.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I'm all for experimentation and it's why i'm able to let it slide a little more on this album (being their first album and all), but when I put that aside, it's too unbearable. I'll check them out! Maybe I do have misophonia, but my ears ring hella hard after listening to the intro to STGSTV lmao.

Thanks :-)

[–]Andrewsarchus-Metal 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The first time I heard Black Dice I absolutely hated it. And I didn’t have any clue of their closeness to Animal Collective at the time they just came up in related bands on iTunes or something. Now BD are one of my favorite acts. I still think they should do a collab album called AnimalBlackCollectiveDice (ABCD)

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

There's a concept in music called contrastive valence, where a sound that seems annoying or dissonant precedes something that sounds nice. It's been shown that doing this actually makes people perceive the nice sound as being much more pleasant than it would have been without the dissonance that came before.

[–]danSwraps 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I love falling to sleep with this album blasting from my speakers. The first song's high pitched drone makes it impossible to think about sleep, but april and the phantom wraps me up nicely and I start to relax. For untitled, I'm usually in a very relaxed state and start dreaming of weird shapes and nature vibes. I usually do this in the afternoon, when it is sunny.

[–]Avaleer 0 points1 point  (0 children)

really powerful album, though i have to be in the right mood to enjoy it with all of the abstract high pitch sounds

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Penny Dreadfuls, La Rapet, Bat You'll Fly >> Chocolate girl

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

My ears hurt, but i'm ok with it. I heard it before and always thought it sounded like danse manatee but with more manageable songs. It's a great album.

Chocolate Girl and Alvin Row are supeeeerrrbbbb