Animal CollectiveI haven't listened to Animal Collective much so I can't really give much comment. They sounded to me like a bad XTC album if Andy Partridge couldn't write a tune, the sort of horribly overrated artpop that's very much beloved by the American indie crowd.
There's a lot of this experimental pop around, more or less psychedelic, eclectic and self-consciously "different". I can't help comparing this with something more straightforward, yet still leftfield, like Broken Social Scene. The difference is then clear: Kevin Drew writes wonderful pop songs and these clowns don't. He has an idiom, they have a smokescreen that is designed to prevent you from thinking that they have no real creative talent.
This, I think, is common enough in music: you get guys who simply do not have the ability to write decent music, so they do something fucked up. Now you cannot criticise the music in regular terms, because it's so irregular. It's like, you just don't get it, maaaaaan, if you don't like it.
But I like a lot of "difficult" music and I never shy away from the experimental. However, at heart I'm looking for stuff I can listen to, not stuff I'm supposed to stand back and admire. Not that I do admire this. I think it would be easy to make, which is one reason there are so many similar bands (genres flower quickly when they are basically easy to ape: lots of punk bands, lots of metal bands, lots of techno bands, not so much drillnbass because it demands virtuosity, not so much electropop because it demands tunes), and, animal shrieks notwithstanding, it's pretty tough to sing along with.