panda bear shot the first salvo of 2007 when he dropped the critical darling, 'person pitch', a mish mash of brian wilson and comforting atmospheric pop. that's album's child like qualities carry over to animal collective's latest offering, 'strawberry jam'. the result is not only their most accessible album, but also their best. animal collective take everything you thought you knew about music and shape, shift, warp it in every possible way imaginable while still keeping the accesability of it intact. the vocals are clearer, the songs are lush with samples and electronic beeps, and the melodies are better and more surprising than ever. imagine a whole album filled with moments like the middle section of 'grass', the breakdown of 'the purple bottle', the freak-outs in 'slippi', and "'inter's love' and you'll be halfway there.
-- Rough Trade