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Boomkat Product Review:
After starting off 2009 with one of the year's very best albums, Animal Collective are all set to round it off in similarly fine style with this new five-song mini-album packed with twenty-seven minutes of exquisite 21st century psychedelia. The luminous pop of Merriweather Post Pavilion is certainly encroached upon over these supplementary tracks, but rather than emulate the incandescent, often euphoric tones of the full-length, Fall Be Kind seems content to dwell on slightly more experimental musings. Opener 'Graze' comes closest to revisiting the band's poppiest material, making surprisingly good use of flurrying panpipes (supplied by internationally renowned Romanian virtuoso Gheorge Zamfir) while surges of colourful synthesizer keep injecting energy into the mix. It says a lot about Animal Collective's credentials and the respect they command from other musicians that they've been the first band ever to successfully clear a Grateful Dead sample, and second song 'What Would I Want? Sky' puts an excerpt from 1974 Dead track 'Unbroken Sky' to good use, setting it into a cantering far-out pop opus that substitutes the band's more manic tendencies for summery luxuriousness. 'Bleed' introduces a welcoming beatless soundscape populated by woozy looping textures and beautiful, almost ambient vocal layers. Changing tack again, 'On A Highway' offers a crazed, half-ranted narrative set to undulating background flotsam before the pace picks up again for the brilliant 'I Think I Can' - a crazed tangle of Brian Wilson-style vocal arrangements, alien percussion and laptop contortions. Animal Collective have bookended 2009 with two fabulous releases and fans old and new would benefit from ensuring they have both on their shelves before 2010.