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 New Album - ANIMAL JOY - February 15, 2012 
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Joined: 22 Sep 2006 19:49
Posts: 6
So I bought the "Loser Edition" at the Black Cat show BUT I got Jonathan to sign it. Am I still a loser? He also signed my vinyl copy of Blue Water White Death but, hey, that's what losers do.


14 Feb 2012 08:35
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Joined: 24 Jan 2012 13:01
Posts: 14
Still haven't received my copy (when will I learn not to bother with pre-orders), but I bought "I'm Still Glad" today. Not to play armchair producer or anything, but I think it should have made the cut over "Immaculate". Beautiful song, and a nice way to end the album after the high of "Star Of The Age".

Can't wait for the show next Tuesday!


14 Feb 2012 22:17
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Joined: 03 Apr 2010 23:30
Posts: 22
Location: Toronto
mr_magpie wrote:
Here's how I'd rank the tracks after listening to them for the past week:

1. Insolence (Didn't have much of an opinion when i first heard this song, all I knew was that it would eventually become my favourite song on the album)
2. Believing Makes it Easy (A little pop heavy, but definitely a groovy tune, and works really well lyrically)
3. Dread Sovereign (Probably the catchiest song on the album, intense chorus!)
4. You As You Were (The first part of this song is just stunning I would even say it's the best part of the entire album. I have mixed feelings about how the song changes course after that, although I understand it's probably a natural progression)
5. Breaking the Yearlings (This song feels old now just because it came out a month earlier than everything else, still a killer track)
6. Animal Life (Perfect Opener, lovely way to set everything in motion)
7. Run the Banner Down (Simple soothing song just like I was a Cloud, but definitely top notch when it comes to execution)
8. Immaculate (Hoping this song was more Century Eyes than Corridors and it certainly is. Turned out really great.)
9. Pushing the River (Love the intensity but it's a little too Radiohead for me)
10. Star of the Age ( Solid song, but there isn't those crashing epic moments like you get on Hail Mary or Uniforms as a closing song should have)
11. Open Your Houses (Like the song but I think the album works better without it, but I'm probably alone on this one)


Ok I changed my mind a little. Here's how I'd rank them now:

1. Insolence
2, Breaking the Yearlings
3. Believing Makes it Easy
4. Dread Sovereign
5. Animal Life
6, You As You Were
7, Run the Banner Down
8. Immaculate
9. Pushing the River
10. Star of the Age
11. Open Your Houses


14 Feb 2012 23:15
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Joined: 31 Aug 2011 08:31
Posts: 6
It took a while before I started to get really excited about the album, but after a couple of listens, it finally got under my skin. My favourites right now would be Dread Sovereign (love the background vocals) and Believing Makes It Easy.


16 Feb 2012 17:13
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Joined: 23 Mar 2010 20:24
Posts: 20
Location: New York, NY
I have to say, I am really, really impressed with the lyrics/poetry on this record.

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17 Feb 2012 07:04
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Joined: 03 Apr 2010 23:30
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Location: Toronto
Really loving the album cover art now that I have the CD in my hands. The artwork inside is pretty sweet as well.

Impressed with Subpop for providing some nice stickers with the purchase. A+


17 Feb 2012 09:13
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Joined: 24 Jan 2012 13:01
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Anybody in Canada receive their pre-ordered copy yet?


17 Feb 2012 12:50
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Joined: 03 Jun 2008 12:01
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Location: windsor, on
Kurmy wrote:
Anybody in Canada receive their pre-ordered copy yet?


The guy above you was posting from Canada, so I would assume yes. Mine only shipped on Tuesday for some reason so I doubt I'll get it this week.


17 Feb 2012 15:44
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Joined: 03 Apr 2010 23:30
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Location: Toronto
Yeah I live north of Toronto and I got mine yesterday.

The stickers have the same design art as the two t-shirts.

The CD isn't in those annoying jewel cases anymore which is a sign Shearwater is moving up in the world. The cover art looks much better in real life than on the computer. The artwork on the back is stunning, not sure how much I like the monkeys inside but the coyotes or hyena picture is pretty great.

Hoping for some sort of poster at the concert, but I doubt it'll happen.


17 Feb 2012 17:56
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Joined: 16 Jan 2011 22:49
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Location: Detroit, MI, USA
They didn't have posters at the concerts I attended. The first night they only had Animal Joy out. The next they had the full line of albums (including the new vinyl pressing of Winged Life) and t-shirts.


17 Feb 2012 18:28
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Joined: 27 Nov 2008 07:52
Posts: 42
Location: Stratford upon Avon, England
Hurrah! Animal Joy vinyl and CD just landed here in the UK. The artwork and design is really great, as always. Can't wait to spin the record and dissect it all when I get an hour or two to myself.


21 Feb 2012 07:56
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Joined: 13 Jul 2006 23:25
Posts: 23
Location: Croton-on-Hudson, NY, USA
Bought the album on iTunes a few days ago (i NEVER buy on iTunes, but I wanted the gang to get paid), will be seeing them on Saturday at the Bowery Ballroom. Pity they're opening for someone but whatever.

I'm writing in to say that I think this may be Shearwater's strongest album. I'm VERY impressed with it and I think everyone did a wonderful job. I've been a heavy Shearwater fan since the Palo Santo reissue. And Animal Joy is so strong that it's challenging my presumption that Shearwater would ever make another album as sublime as Palo Santo. (Don't get me wrong, I love the intervening two as well -- but PS is ... oh oh so good.) Somehow they managed to get the spareness and directness of PS with some of the "showier" elements of the more recent two that sometimes put me off just a bit, but retained the intensity...... it's a pretty mean trick you guys pulled off.

Right now I'd rank them PS, Animal Joy, Rook, Archipelago.... And the first two might be a tie, which as I said I would have thought impossible. Great to see a band absorbing more and moving forward and improving. Just astonishing. And of course JM and Thor and the rest are peachy fellows and all that, which is an added bonus.

Fave tracks for me are Insolence, Believing Makes It Easy, Open Your Houses, Yearlings. Pushing the River is pretty remarkable too.

I wanted to point out something out about Believing Makes It Easy..... the way JM sings the last line, it's almost insolent (ironically, given the track titles of this album) and kind of understated, almost spoken. It rings a bell, but I can't think of who, Jarvis Cocker maybe? It's such a very un-JM note and yet so WONDERFULLY effective.

Can't say enough about this album. I have to confess that I've seen Shearwater five or six times and as much as I enjoy every single song, I find myself waiting for them to do "Hail Mary" because it's just so killer. This Saturday will be the first time in a while where I'm genuinely eager to hear all new songs. I'd be quite pleased if the whole set were just Animal Joy. It's a high compliment, to come out with something this great after such previous highs in their past.

Final thought, I have a lot of favorite bands, and they're all quite different.... the Wrens, Ween, Electric Six, Pavement. The one band that I truly love that creates beauty most consistently is Shearwater. Shearwater is the only band I know of that can achieve beauty, poetry, intensity, relevance, ROCK AND ROLL, but intelligent, heartfelt, considered, powerful music. I know Shearwater is kind of big but it's also our little secret too, I am always amazed that they don't just barrel through the likes of Pitchfork and get 9.4s across the board. It mystifies me. But the point is, we've been lucky to watch a truly singular band create an insanely consistent and astonishing body of work that loses zero power as time passes. Our secret, maybe, but I'll treasure them until I die.

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22 Feb 2012 02:30
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Joined: 20 Sep 2006 10:48
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Is it weird to think that Animal Joy has better songs than previous Shearwater albums, but I still like the previous albums more? Something like Breaking the Yearlings is more immediately appealing than the more intense earlier songs like Century Eyes or Corridors, but I feel like I have to listen to Golden Archipelago in it's entirety, while I'm fine just listening to a few songs off Animal Joy at any given time. GA demands to be taken as a whole, while AJ can be enjoyed in pieces.

For me, even though I'm enjoying AJ, GA is remaining my favorite by them. GA connects more directly to me, since islands play important roles in my family history and some of my life. I can't listen to Meridian without thinking of my grandfather in WWII. Animal Life makes me think of my dogs from childhood, but none of the other songs have the same sort of emotional connection for me that GA has.


23 Feb 2012 13:21
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Joined: 03 Jun 2008 12:01
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Location: windsor, on
Positive review from Coke Machine Glow. The main page tagline for the review was "like walking on sunshine, except it's actually blood and nature hates you," which I found amusing.


24 Feb 2012 08:48
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Joined: 23 Mar 2010 20:24
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Location: New York, NY
I absolutely love this record. I wish it was longer...it seems over too fast. In any case, it's pretty stunning. It's interesting that Jonathan Meiburg is wary of confessional song-writing, though his approach is really beautiful and unique, so I can certainly respect his thoughts on the matter. I guess I see his point -- maybe it's hard to pull that off in an interesting way. But I don't know...I think of Joni Mitchell's "Blue" (hugely personal, hugely confessional), The Cure's "Disintegration," Tori Amos's stuff from the 90s...it's hard to discount that kind of material, though there's definitely an element of emotional melodrama with Robert Smith & Tori. :wink:
Just a funny similarity -- the line in "Run the Banner Down," and the way it is sung -- "...and thrown into the lake." This reminds me of the moment in Kate Bush's "Hounds of Love" when she sings with similar fervency, "...and throw them in the lake!" I would bet it's coincidence...

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25 Feb 2012 09:16
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