Top 100 Albums of the Decade: #24 Animal Collective - Feels


Top 100 Albums of the Decade list will be posted over the course of 100 days. On September 23rd, we will post one album and continue every day until December 31st, when we will unveil our #1 album of the decade!

Please read our introduction to learn about our nominating and ordering process.

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#24 Animal Collective - Feels

"I can feel it, but I can't say it." That's all my friend – my very, very stoned friend, though it wouldn't have made a difference in this case– could offer when I asked her to come up with an assessment of Animal Collective's Feels. Of course, I'd been grappling for a concrete analysis of what has been a monumental album in my own life; what she gave me was essentially an echo of the reason I turned to her in the first place. It's an album that sinks into your subconscious self without stopping to say hello to your logical capacity on the way. So, yes, "someone in my dictionary's up to no good / I never find the very special words that I could…"

See, being at a loss for words is not the same as losing your words. The words are there, swimming right there in your mind, out of the grasp of that other part of your mind that's supposed to put those words together. I think that's part of the point of this album: we can at once own something large and suffer the melancholy feeling that that "something large" is misplaced. But you can also be at a loss for so much more than language. You can be at a loss for love – the love's somewhere inside you, somewhere near you, though maybe it hasn't solidified. You can be at a loss for friendship – the people you know should be the people you call friends, but something never quite lined up. You can even be at a loss for yourself – all the parts of you are there, and it's just about getting them in the right order. There's a reason this album is called Feels rather than Thinks or Knows. It's all down in your gut; the trick is coaxing it out, piecing it together, assembling the parts into a whole. With its strange syncopation, crosshatch layers and lofty cooing, this album plays like a muddled mirror of the human form. No, I can't tell you which track means what, or why it works the way it does. You have to feel it for yourself.

- Phillip Taylor-Parker

Check back tomorrow for the next album! To see the full list of the Top 100 Albums of the Decade, click here.

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