The new Animal Collective album isn’t a bad album, by any means. What it is, is relentlessly bright. It sounds like a rain of silver dollars clattering down on a magnesium countertop for an hour. It stays in that upper register for so long that it is, to me, the aural equivalent of eating something with so much sugar in it that my teeth start to hurt. It’s diificult to listen to the thing all the way through because I find myself wanting to buy shades for my ears, just to get rid of the fucking glare and hear what else is going on. If I could slice off all that toppiness, I imagine I’d find a very good Animal Collective album — certainly an interesting one, a biographical step on from Panda Bear’s solo work, moving from the euphoria of finding joy in your twenties to three childhood friends feeling slightly adrift in the onset of real adulthood. It’s a collection of ideas for a Great Album, but the execution and production isn’t quite there yet. Animal Collective fans thought MERRIWEATHER would be a game-changer. I think it’ll be the next one, once they’ve got the distance to look back with clarity on what will be ten years in music.