Pitchfork Kicks Off 2009 by Naming Album of the Year

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Well, that didn’t take long! Just weeks after naming the Fleet Foxes’ debut album (and their EP) the record of the year for 2008, Pitchfork Media has gone and declared Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavilion the best album of this freshly minted year, sort of. The notoriously prickly music site published their review of the album today, and gave it an incredibly high 9.6 rating on their make-you-or-break-you rating scale. I dare any other album this year to top that.

The Fleet Foxes reached the top of Pitchfork’s haystack with a 9.0 rating, and lest you think that’s not a big difference, well, Pitchfork does not dole out decimal points lightly. 2007′s top album belonged to Panda Bear, who’s actually one of three members of Animal Collective, and he did it with just a 9.4 rating. Time for champagne? I think so.

Pitchfork slyly tags the record as the avant-gardists’ “pop” record by claiming that everyone else will, and they write that despite Animal Collective’s singular sound, “they’ve found a natural way to integrate the sing-along melodies, sticky hooks, and driving percussion that have long been hallmarks of celebratory popular music.” The record was on constant loop over the loudspeaker when the band came to our offices on Halloween to smash some pumpkins and vandalize our walls, and it was really, really good. In fact, it’s all over our walls. Check out the next issue of BlackBook if you don’t believe me.