Animal Collective: Starring The Grateful Dead "What Would I Want? Sky" is the first song to legally license a Grateful Dead sample. And, in a smartly subtle move, Animal Collective doesn't even unveil it until three minutes in, after a dense, psychedelic junket through a sea of vocals and unintelligible sounds. The result is a colorful, lush, rewarding and, above all, a welcome rebuttal to critics of music sampling.

Review

Animal Collective: Starring The Grateful Dead

'What Would I Want? Sky' by Animal Collective

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/122950360/122950354" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

After topping many year-end Top 10 lists in 2009, Animal Collective faces high expectations after Merriweather Post Pavilion. Given its experimental roots, the band could head in any number of directions, but its new EP, Fall Be Kind, may well point the way.

Monday's Pick

Song: "What Would I Want? Sky"

Artist: Animal Collective

CD: Fall Be Kind

Genre: Experimental Pop

"What Would I Want? Sky" is lush, rewarding and a welcome rebuttal to critics of music sampling. Atiba Jefferson hide caption

toggle caption
Atiba Jefferson

"What Would I Want? Sky" is lush, rewarding and a welcome rebuttal to critics of music sampling.

Atiba Jefferson

This is more than a between-albums release, full of short studio outtakes or remixes. There are real must-hear moments on Fall Be Kind, and "What Would I Want? Sky" is one of them. For one thing, it's the first song to legally license a Grateful Dead sample. And, in a smartly subtle move, Animal Collective doesn't even unveil it until three minutes in, after a dense, psychedelic junket through a sea of vocals and unintelligible sounds.

When the dust settles, the song bobs into a 7/8 time signature, and a vocal cut from the Dead's "Unbroken Chain" bubbles to the top of the mix. Avey Tare ices the music with an emotional vocal as surreal electronic swirls and bleeps dive in and out of the song. It's colorful, lush, rewarding and, above all, a welcome rebuttal to critics of music sampling.

Listen to yesterday's Song of the Day, and subscribe to the Song of the Day newsletter.