Baltimore’s Animal Collective are now thankfully years removed from their breakthrough, and the breakthrough of their experimental electronics in general. This has given them a more mature air, not highly hyped flavor-of-the-week that they sometimes suffered from being labeled. Painting With is a record that shows the group confident, while also injecting some youth.
That youth comes through on a few tracks seemingly from the point of view of kids, the sugar-high “The Burglars” and more wistful “Bagels In Kiev”. The poppiest piece is the opener/single, “FloriDada”, which is just as energetic and catchy as the title indicates. There’s also excellent respect given to TV classic Golden Girls in “Golden Gal”.
Throughout Painting With, Animal Collective effectively utilizes their experimental tropicalia – two sounds that are both hot right now, and yet Animal Collective show how either/both are done. At twelve tracks, the record is a bit too long, with a few songs that don’t stand out amid all the effects, but Painting With shows why Animal Collective are still central.