Mixel Pixel

Music for Plants

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Delaware-born, Brooklyn-based indie rockers Mixel Pixel's fourth album presents, basically, more of the same: Music for Plants cements Mixel Pixel's status as Animal Collective without the folkie roots or zoological obsessions but fully stocked with all of the childlike neo-psychedelia intact. Many songs, particularly the pulsating "I Cannot Die," add a synthy new wave influence, and "Behind the Sun" is so drenched in echo and tape hiss that it's almost hard to hear the actual song, but the root of these songs is in the same kind of freewheeling D.I.Y. experimentation that the Elephant 6 people spent the '90s exploring. The difference between Mixel Pixel and similar bands, however, is that bandleader Rob Corradetti never lets his "sound for sound's sake" side overwhelm the appealing pop suss evident in songs as catchy as "Switchblade Sister" and the new wave dance-funk of "Turkish Delights," which somehow fashions a capable, tuneful pop song out of synth lines last heard in cheap mid-'80s porn soundtracks. It's undeniable that there's a certain "aren't we clever?" archness to Music for Plants, but it's equally true that...well, in fact, they are clever, and that counts for a lot sometimes.

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