Klinger: Well, Mendelsohn, last week you asked me if the canon was still open, what with the inclusion of slightly more recent records like Radiohead’s In Rainbows on the Acclaimed Music aggregate of the greatest albums of all time. Now this week we have Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavilion, an actual, honest to God album that was released not just during this century, but right at the dawn of the Obama administration. Still, I have to give you the same answer I gave you last week: The inclusion of a handful of current records doesn’t indicate to me that we’re still continuing to write the history of the album as an art form. Whatever the relative merits of Merriweather Post Pavilion, I still think its placement on the Great List is more of a mathematical aberration than anything else.
I suspect Merriweather Post Pavilion is located here at No. 128 based on its high rankings on various best of the year and best of the decade lists. Once the dust settles and our resident mathemagician gets around to crunching the numbers again (which he hasn’t done for quite some time), Animal Collective’s standing will dip significantly. Even so, I think it’s fair to discuss this album as a snapshot of a certain genre (indie rock) at a certain time (the late ‘00s). That’s a time when I was a little checked out, though. Perhaps you, Mendelsohn—with your finger on the pulse and whatnot—can shed some light here?