all 104 comments

[–]TonyDoover420 112 points113 points  (0 children)

Somebody on a previous post said it best: BONEFISH

[–]Cortinoias 50 points51 points  (20 children)

I think it's funny that the bracket follows rateyourmusic's scores almost exactly

[–]deathdigitaldeathi don't get them 14 points15 points  (0 children)

It make sense because both are just aggregations of the average fan's opinion, not an actual ranking of quality based on any criteria whatsoever.

[–]solaire1416 28 points29 points  (0 children)


[–]lambomrclago 40 points41 points  (2 children)

MPP is my favorite album ever, so there's that.

[–]UpvoteForLuck 7 points8 points  (0 children)

I think that the addition of vocal harmonies really turned the sounds of SJ up to a whole ‘nother level.

[–]principe_real 31 points32 points  (2 children)

Painting With is actually the last remaining album with 505 votes. Thank you all for coming

[–]sandcrawler2Danse Underrated[S] 19 points20 points  (0 children)

Its actually Danse Manatee with 169420 votes

[–]dailykaley 1 point2 points  (0 children)

i'm just upset they changed the taste of coke

[–]shillybeers 12 points13 points  (1 child)

i dont think its their best, but i feel like it has the broadest appeal across anco fans (tho mpp has the broadest appeal among the general audience)

[–]teelpy 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Every one loves MPP but it doesn’t even hit my top 5. It’s amazing how our tastes are all varied

[–]nopnopnopnopnopI should be floating, but I'm weighted by thinking 82 points83 points  (6 children)

SJ beating Feels? What were people smoking? Or not smoking?

[–]themsp 48 points49 points  (4 children)

We put down the joint, dropped some clean L and realized that SJ is actually the better album. It took me a bit to realize it too but I love love love Feels but Strawberry Jam is even better for me.

[–][deleted] 11 points12 points  (1 child)

I only want the time! To do one thing that I like! I want to [DROP SOME ACID] and take a walk out in the light driiizzzzleee!

[–]vilent_sibrateSoapin’ 3 points4 points  (0 children)

That’s a loooong walk

[–]TiptoeingElephants 0 points1 point  (1 child)

i truly worship music,

in my personal experience, MPP is the best album to listen with Lucy(bookended between “Fall Be Kind” & “Bridge to Quiet”)

“Here Comes the Indian” is a close second.

& i have to throw in “Time Skiffs” surprised me how perfectly that album flows with psychedelics(espexially for showing other people for their first listen)it’s quite immediately accessible.

[–]themsp 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Campfire Songs on a really good pair of speakers or headphones is a trip too.

[–]finglonger1077 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Prolly whatever made you forget Sung Tongs

[–]Eutectic21 9 points10 points  (0 children)

When I first saw the poll my instinct immediately went to SJ but when I compared the two I had to go with Feels. MPP is my personal favorite though.

[–]horny4birdsi’ll open up my brain again 44 points45 points  (0 children)

Feels should have won 😔😔😔

[–]thesmellysloth 7 points8 points  (0 children)

It’s one of my favorite albums, so it’s nice to see. Feels or Sung Tongs would work too

[–]TheCheatIsGroundedI want to be like water and slip into your throat[🍰] 7 points8 points  (1 child)

MPP is my favorite, and Feels just barely tops this one. However, this is the most Animal Collective album by far. Nothing sounds more like them to me than this

[–]sandcrawler2Danse Underrated[S] 8 points9 points  (0 children)

For sure the most anco sounding album. Its an EP but I would say Water Curses is as well

[–]sandcrawler2Danse Underrated[S] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

*Greatest album. Personally I was pulling for Spirit but I knew it had no chance against the big boys. Feels is my second favorite and im a bit suprised it lost to SJ but they are all excellent. To me if im sitting down and experiencing a full album with no skips its gotta be Spirit by the slightest margin, I just love the flow & theme and it ends on my favorite anco track.

[–]EfficiencySuch6361 18 points19 points  (2 children)

It’s not a terrible outcome but I think Feels is their best personally. SJ came out when I was midway thru college and MPP during senior year and Sung Tongs was the first music I ever heard from them but Feels is what really speaks to me the most and it doesn’t have a single weak song on it unlike their other releases and I think the lyrics and dynamics are outstanding

[–]HomiesTrismegistus 2 points3 points  (1 child)

These things are so hard. I love so many of their albums that I really can't put them in order, it's almost dependent on my mood and have went through phases listening to them over and over during different time periods of my life. I am at a total loss picking these as favorites between the two lol. I do think feels should have won, but I'm not upset at all that strawberry jam did, that ones been very special to me too, and it's the one I like to sing really loud in my car the most!

[–]EfficiencySuch6361 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I live in Baltimore and have watched the fireworks at the harbor many times so SJ is of course a masterpiece that I adore haha

[–]Superspookyghostlike following angels 16 points17 points  (6 children)

Sit back and allow me to explain to you why Feels is the best Animal Collective album while I am still drunk.

That's not to say SJ isn't a good album. It is still among my favorite albums by any band in terms of lyrics and themes. SJ came out right when I was starting college and was at pretty much the absolute pinnacle of my Animal Collective fandom - and the themes of the difficulty of growing up and finding happiness in the adult world still resonate with me today.

That being said, as much as I love SJ, it has never even been a close race between SJ and Feels in terms of the best Animal Collective album. Feels is just perfect, it towers over SJ as a monolith that is completely untouchable.

SJ was the birth of the "new" Animal Collective, the Animal Collective that would go on to make MPP and play Pitchfork Fest and make late night TV appearances. That Animal Collective is well and good - for the majority of fans that are still around, that may be the only Animal Collective you know.

But where SJ is the birth of the new Animal Collective, it also is the death of the old Animal Collective - but before the death of the old Animal Collective, they pulled everything together and gave us their magnum opus, a culmination of everything they had learned over their years of being struggling musicians or working day jobs, playing in smoky bars to crowds of none, traveling in a shitty van and playing with broken equipment. After a difficult time making HCTI, Geo and Deakin left music to do other things for a while, and then Sung Tongs happened - the band's popularity and fame grew ever so slightly. And there were a few more people in those crowds...

To understand what Feels is requires an understanding of what Animal Collective was. Animal Collective was a group of four high school friends that were exposed to an eclectic background of noise, psychedelia, and alternative rock. They played noise, like a lot of people did in the New York noise scene. Their music was chaos, but underneath the chaos was sort of a hint of the familiar, something beautiful even.

And then Sung Tongs happened and the songs got tighter, they got relatable. And it was mostly just an album of 2 acoustic guitars, but it sounded unlike anything else.

Animal Collective live during this era, in between ST and before SJ was released, was an absolute force of nature. There was nothing elaborate on stage - it was just some guys, a keyboard here or there, a guy with a guitar, some drums, it didn't look out of the ordinary. But the songs sounded like they were essentially held together with duct tape and string, but the songs gripped you like almost nothing else ever has. At its heart it was a guy just playing a guitar and screaming at the top of his lungs, but those songs seemed to exist only in that moment, some dive bar or 500-seater auditorium. The songs twisted and turned and there were weird effects and holy shit was there a train whistle solo in the middle of that song?

And that's where Animal Collective songs used to come from, it came from blood sweat and tears of touring and working those songs down until they were perfect. But at the same time, their songs were the product of young adults that were on a grueling tour, they played in grime, they existed in grime. The songs were messy but there was a beauty in that chaos, it all just came together.

And so when it came time to record Feels, there was actually a brief time period when the band thought that they were going to break up because of Panda's move to Portugal. But these Feels songs, it was evident for anyone who heard them, were something special.

And so maybe it would be a last hurrah, a celebration of FINALLY getting to live their dream of playing music together as friends. They busted their ass putting everything they could into Feels, finally, after years and years of growing as musicians, honing songs on the road, channeling noise into melody, hundreds of hours in the studio and countless tweaks and an unfathomable amount of adding and tweaking those songs, Feels was born. And somehow, those songs still sound like they're from the same chaotic smoky bars as they were written despite being cleaned up and with more studio effects added. The songs that, though it's hard to explain, make you feel the same weight as the person that wrote them. Feels was like the culmination of all those hours screaming for no crowds, the hundreds of hours of taping their music at their practice space in New York, songs becoming both recognizable as coming from "regular" instruments but that also could have come from no one else. Songs that seemed both deeply personal but also easily attachable to anyone that heard them.

And then Feels was done it was as if the band was saying "we gave it everything we had." It's like those hours of playing absolute chaos in bars had somehow transcended into something else - that the songs had for a brief moment transcended their entire existence. The entire album, top-to-bottom, perfect.

And after Feels, the songs that would become SJ started to be written in the same way as the Feels songs. They came from that same grimy, dirty dive bar, coming from sweating and trial and error. But then once the album came out, the songs reminded people that they were Animal Collective on a major label. They were more accessible, sure, but they were also polished to the point of losing their identity. They're great songs, but despite being darker than Feels they seem almost saccharine, soulless sometimes, like they had been polished down to only their vague essence and not the heart of what they once were.

And that was the death of old Animal Collective. If you watch, say, the Starlight Ballroom show from 2006, and compare it to the Starlight Ballroom show in 2007, you can start to see the writing on the wall. Both are all time great Animal Collective shows, but in 2007 the organized chaos is replaced with, high energy though it may be, a lot of time just sitting there where a synth loop played for 1+ minute, the influence of those Panda-written songs that are just unchanging loops the whole time.

It's always been sort of funny to me that a lot of people that saw Animal Collective during the MPP+ era (particularly the beginning of what would become the ChZ era) later told me they were disappointed because, to paraphrase, the live performances just didn't live up to what MPP was on the album. When SJ came out, it was completely the opposite. The live performances were amazing and the songs on the album, in comparison, felt a little flat.

Avey has said that SJ is his least favorite Animal Collective album, and also that it was the first time that there were members of the group who weren't totally on board with what they were doing. The band has also said that SJ's mixing was not to their liking. I always just kind of wondered if Avey sort of recognized it's cleanness and almost pop-like nature of being just... different from what Animal Collective was - different from what those songs even were when they were playing them live.

There are plenty of people that love MPP and I'm sure love SJ as well. But if you watch a performance from the MPP era where it is essentially 3 guys sitting at keyboards/synths and not moving almost the entire concert, it seems light years away from the Animal Collective of starlight ballroom. Geo even joked about it, that it was so weird to finish playing an entire show and not even sweating anymore.

One might say that caused an overcorrection of course where ChZ was too active and too chaotic, but SJ always felt like it was Feels minus some ingredients, rather than progressing forward. There is no progressing forward from Feels - it is and always will be the pinnacle of the band giving it everything they had.

I've been an Animal Collective fan a long time, and among more serious Animal Collective fans rather than the general public, I've always always always seen Feels win best album. When SJ came out, music critics basically said that it was going to win them a lot of new fans because of how accessible ti is compared to everything else the band had done up to that point - but I can't help but feel that the band lost something too.

That's not to say that "new" Animal Collective is worse than "old" Animal Collective, as change is change and moving in a new direction is part of being a musician for as long as they have. Just for me personally, Feels was like throwing everything they had in the tank into one perfect statement - it was the perfect culmination of everything they had been and the absolute pinnacle of what they could be. They have deserved all the accolades and fame they have gotten in the years since Feels, but they've never even come close to making an album that good again.

[–]CloudDeadNumberFive 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Can you link the interviews you mentioned here? I’m very curious to see them. Great comment anyway.

[–]sandcrawler2Danse Underrated[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Excellent writeup, as a newer fan its interesting to hear about their evolution through the perspective of an OG fan. Appreciate the knowledge and I agree Feels is their best even though Spirit is my favorite

[–]nothingmaster 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Look I'm not gonna pretend I read all of it it but I agree Feels was their peak.

[–]polarbear_thepoet 0 points1 point  (0 children)

After going through some old Feels footage, this comment has definitely changed my perspective a lot of the band. I definitely gained more appreciation for Feels, but I wouldn’t say it’s their last great album.

[–]TiptoeingElephants 0 points1 point  (0 children)

but how do you really feel(s)…?

[–]ZombieMananaband 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I fucking love this comment. Feels changed my life and approach to making music.

[–]I_smoke_cum 9 points10 points  (2 children)

Sung tongs takes most replayed for me, might be a comfort record personally tho.

I'd say centipede. Especially if we include any live mixes.

[–]sandcrawler2Danse Underrated[S] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Comfort comfort, why do you run for it?

[–]I_smoke_cum 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Ok well to be fair, Fall Be Kind bodies almost everything else despite being an EP.

Actually all the EPS are pretty special in their own right.

[–]ideolotry 5 points6 points  (0 children)

agree 100%

[–]Odolinsky 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Feels is my favorite album of all time, SJ has some of my favorites too but as a whole I think Feels is on another level.

[–]anxiousmagicweedcat 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I feel like this album just hits every single mark possible. The vocals have that extra touch of cartoony exaggeration, the production slices every sound perfectly through the mix, which there is metric shit ton of, you've got the field recordings working perfectly in tandem with the musical instruments as beautifully as ever, the lyrics all seem to revolve around growing up and being part of a family and every song has a unique way of approaching that sentiment. As much as I wish Panda had more lead vocals on it, I really can't knock SJ for anything major. Just a beautifully unique and exhilarating musical experience.

I always assumed Feels was more the fan favourite so this result surprised me a bit, but I have to agree. SJ is number one lol.

[–]eggboieggmen 2 points3 points  (0 children)

its Feels for me all the way, its the one I can easily put on repeat the most. I like SJ but strangely I think its the one I go back to the least

[–]TheBravesDH 2 points3 points  (0 children)

This would be my outcome. My favorite from the boys, though Feels is not far behind, and my second favorite album of all-time. SJ always got me when I’m feeling down.

[–]ANUS_Breakfast 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Always has been.

[–]Alien_Collaborative 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Yeah this one should be the winner, it’s their best. It’s like picking your favorite child w these records but this one should be #1.

[–]Alien_Collaborative 2 points3 points  (2 children)

This whole vote has me itching to start the full discog run here soon. The start - finish marathon listen.

[–]sandcrawler2Danse Underrated[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

How long would that take? Probably at least 12 hours

[–]Alien_Collaborative 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Maybe more! I’d have to hit the EPs in between, the singles, psycho actives, all the way baby!

[–]V0LTR0N93 2 points3 points  (1 child)


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

I concur with this.

[–]dskoziol 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Agree! Though I feel like if Person Pitch was allowed in the competition, Sleep Cycle should have also been in there! Can you post a "tournament bracket" diagram of the whole competition?

[–]sandcrawler2Danse Underrated[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

There was no real bracket I just matched together albums mostly based on what I thought would be a good matchup of whoever is remaining. I could run a person pitch vs sleep cycle poll to see how it goes but I think it would be quite lopsided

[–]dskoziol 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Oh yeah I agree, no need to run more polls, but it has a special place in my heart.

[–]MPvoxMAN13 1 point2 points  (0 children)

We should vote on what we thought SHOULD have been the best album

[–]Ekebe23 1 point2 points  (0 children)


[–]FLLMALL 1 point2 points  (1 child)

It's a near perfect album, but Spirit is still their best.

[–]sandcrawler2Danse Underrated[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)


[–]ZombieMananaband 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Feels!!!! What the fuck guys 🤣. Ok for real tho i love this band so god damn much

[–]SherlockRRVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I personally prefer Centipede Hz but Strawberry Jam is a close second and definitely deserving of this win.

[–]__Windex__ -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Silly contest

[–]MootBrute2 -1 points0 points  (0 children)

MPP should've won 😭😭

[–]Any-Year-9002 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It’s so subjective it’s hard to say what should have won. I’m happy with it, and would have been equally happy with tongs or feels.

[–]thebakingbanker 0 points1 point  (0 children)

So long as sung tongs, feels, or SJ won I’m okay.

(Sung tongs for me tho)

[–]Cashmere_Calico 0 points1 point  (0 children)

this is a surprise bv I thought most ppl (at least on this subteddit) preferred feels, but I like strawberry jam more, so I'm happy with outcome.

[–]HerelGoDigginInAgain 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Very happy with the results but would have also been happy with Sung Tongs, which I think is less consistent of an album but has some of their highest highs.

[–]infernapethesecond 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I’d take Feels, but it’s so close that I’m not mad. As long as it was those two in the finals, I’m good.

[–]Dukedoctor 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I’m pleased because it’s my favorite album haha

[–]feetarejustshithands 0 points1 point  (0 children)

While I don’t personally agree, I don’t have a problem with this winning.

[–]dvdvanteHere Comes The Idiot 0 points1 point  (0 children)

im so behind this. my favorite is ark of course but i genuinely believe sj defines what people should expect when getting into ac, really glad it won

[–]Dancing_Clean 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I think MPP is like in my top 5 albums of all time, probably 3.

But Feels might be in that top 10. SJ more like, top 20. But I think SJ has their best-ever singles.

So. Yeah.

[–]DonaldDust 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Replace Cuckoo Cuckoo with Safer and this album is the GOAT

[–]sandcrawler2Danse Underrated[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Why cuckoo and not winter wonderland or #1?

[–]Otherwise-Ad4895 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I'll allow it

[–]imsonny1 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yeahhhhhh this is probably their best imo

[–]TheMusicEvangelisthiding under green umbrellas 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I was uninvested in this when Ark was eliminated

[–]InfiniteJeff369 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It’s my favorite.

[–]HFDShhh 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It's great, and it's even been my favorite at a few points in my life, but I prefer the opening and closing tracks on MPP and Feels, which gives them a slight leg up. Can't listen to SJ without tacking on Safer at the end

[–]SnooDoggos101 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes, even though they have a lot of other great albums obviously, this one sounds on the expressive and freeform side. I love the lyrics too.

[–]dazzleshipsrecords 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Sj is their best album. Hands down. For everyone following them since the early 2007s - sj was such an amazing build up from watch them grow as musicians from album to album.

[–]Maximillion666ian 0 points1 point  (0 children)

SBJ , MPP and the Fall Be Kind Ep are my favorite AC albums/Ep's.

[–]Greyjoy91 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Strawberry Jam is a strange one for me. I love it, first off, every track exists in its own little world and each one is unique and fun. I think fun is the best word for this album. I just think Merriweather is the definitive album, not necessarily their best (which I think is Feels), and strawberry jam is definitely third behind those two for me

[–]gregdavory 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Feels 4 lyfe

[–]thizizdiz 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Feels provokes deep emotions in me more than any other album I can think of, totally living up to its title. SJ is amazing but I think MPP slightly edges it out in terms of overall sound. Regardless, those three plus Sung Tongs is one of the greatest album streaks of any band ever, I'm fine with any of them winning.

[–]TrynUrLuck 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Feels all the way but damn if this isn't a close second so can't be mad at it

[–]panflutejam_ 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Feels is my personal favorite but SJ is right behind it. I think they would be my #2 and #3 albums of all time so it's super goddamn close.

I think if they had added Safer to SJ, maybeee between Cuckoo Cuckoo and Derek, it would be my #1 AC album. I think there was room for Safer man. It's one of my favorite songs of theirs and I always thought it was kinda too good to just be a peacebone single B side. SJ is already phenomenal without it, but I think it could have had a place in there and made it just that much more mystifying of an album. I dont know where it would fit best but I'm thinking after Cuckoo Cuckoo, after Chores, or put it in as the closer.

[–]polarbear_thepoet 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Tangerine Reef

[–]TiptoeingElephants 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Here Comes The Indian supremacy!

Rise Up!!!

[–]HPRMK 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Strawberry Jam is a game changer (it is part of the best anco album saga too : person pitch -SJ- Merriweather-Fall be kind)

[–]bboy037 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The nice thing about AnCo is that everyone with slightly different taste gets to have different favorite album. I'm down with this, though I personally think MPP is the goat without question