I mean besides the fact that Animal Collective’s reviews on Pitchfork tend to get a higher score with each subsequent release. Don’t you think we, as music fans, would be better served if Pitchfork would have someone besides their designated Animal Collective reviewer, Mark Richardson, review the new Animal Collective disc, Merriweather Post Pavilion? Wouldn’t a second opinion be nice? Maybe, a second opinion by someone who doesn’t have a track record of giving Animal Collective Best New Music worthy reviews? I know if I was in Animal Collective, I’d be sending Mr Richardson fruit baskets every f’n day of the year for his unquestioned role in making them the biggest indie band in all the land.

Here Comes the Indian (8.6) Andy Beta

Sung Tongs (8.9) Dominique Leone

Prospect Hummer EP (8.4)Mark Richardson

Feels (9.0) Mark Richardson

Hollinndagain (8.0) Mark Richardson

People EP (7.1) Mark Richardson

Strawberry Jam (9.3) Mark Richardson

Water Curses EP (7.3) Mark Richardson

Merriweather Post Pavilion (9.6) Mark Richardson

…And just for fun, here’s what Richardson had to say about the solo album by Animal Collective member, Panda Bear.

Panda Bear – Person Pitch (9.4) Mark Richardson

I used to feel like the whole of the internet, and the whole of the indie rock establishment was playing a joke on me because I didn’t worship at the altar of Animal Collective. Turns out the only jokester was Mark Richardson, and everyone else was merely following his lead.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I find Animal Collective to be a very talented band who make dense and challenging albums, and there are moments on Merriweather Post Pavilion where I am floored. Yet, this is a band who still values form over function, and to say that Merriweather Post Pavilion is Animal Collective’s pop album, is stretching the definition of pop by any known measure.

I may have more to say about Animal Collective in the coming weeks, but for now, I want you to think about how one man, on the most influential music site, has shaped the public’s perception of this band.