12 Songs, 48 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

When Margot and the Nuclear So & So’s left an indie label for Epic Records, little did they know a battle would ensue about how to release their sophomore effort. A deal was struck, and two versions were released: Animal, the band’s version, and Not Animal, the label’s preferred version. Whether this was a manufactured showdown or not, it’s a cool deal for serious fans, offering a total of 19 new tracks (five are shared between the two releases). For new fans, Not Animal is the place to start, as it’s more focused, brighter sounding, and generally more interesting. With instruments like banjo, melodica, lap steel and more, the eight-piece band has to work to stay on point, and nowhere is it more rewarding than in the slightly Flaming Lips-ish “A Children’s Crusade On Acid” or the gently frolicking “As Tall As Cliffs.” While “Shivers (I’ve Got ‘Em)” is built on mid-tempo chunks of guitars and “Pages Written On a Wall” churns in cinematic Technicolor with blaring horns and steely guitar riffs, much of the album has a softer, subdued feel to it. A hazy accordion and nervous, delicate strings linger behind “Holy Cow!” while “Real Naked Girls” is an airy, shapeshifting ballad that twinkles like big city lights viewed from a hillside. Conjuring Sufjan Stevens, “Broadripple Is Burning” is quietly mesmerizing, stripped down to Richard Edward’s plaintive voice, an acoustic guitar, and gentle background cooing by Emily Watkins.

EDITORS’ NOTES

When Margot and the Nuclear So & So’s left an indie label for Epic Records, little did they know a battle would ensue about how to release their sophomore effort. A deal was struck, and two versions were released: Animal, the band’s version, and Not Animal, the label’s preferred version. Whether this was a manufactured showdown or not, it’s a cool deal for serious fans, offering a total of 19 new tracks (five are shared between the two releases). For new fans, Not Animal is the place to start, as it’s more focused, brighter sounding, and generally more interesting. With instruments like banjo, melodica, lap steel and more, the eight-piece band has to work to stay on point, and nowhere is it more rewarding than in the slightly Flaming Lips-ish “A Children’s Crusade On Acid” or the gently frolicking “As Tall As Cliffs.” While “Shivers (I’ve Got ‘Em)” is built on mid-tempo chunks of guitars and “Pages Written On a Wall” churns in cinematic Technicolor with blaring horns and steely guitar riffs, much of the album has a softer, subdued feel to it. A hazy accordion and nervous, delicate strings linger behind “Holy Cow!” while “Real Naked Girls” is an airy, shapeshifting ballad that twinkles like big city lights viewed from a hillside. Conjuring Sufjan Stevens, “Broadripple Is Burning” is quietly mesmerizing, stripped down to Richard Edward’s plaintive voice, an acoustic guitar, and gentle background cooing by Emily Watkins.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.6 out of 5
66 Ratings

66 Ratings

Mr. remains ,

Superb

This albumn is an excellent example of Margot's ability to create a rich beautifully textured sound unlike any other! Not Animal also shows great growth in comparison to the dust of retreat. Margot never ceases to amaze me with their poignant lyrics and brilliant sound!

ihatehatehaters ,

Not As Good As Animal But Certainly Worth The Purchase

For those not familiar with Margot, Not Animal is basically a glorified b-sides album. 5 of the 12 tracks can be found in better use on their new full length album "Animal", however, the other 7 are b-sides to said album. For many long time fans of Margot, it is a real treat to hear a few of these songs which could be previously heard as unreleased demos. These songs include, Broadripple, Holy Cow, As Tall As Cliffs, The Ocean, and Hip Hip Hooray, all of which are fantastic. The only thing that warrants this album a 4 star rating rather than a 5 is simply that 5 of these tracks can be found on their full length Animal". If your a fan of Margot and want to complete the "Animal" experience than this is definitely an album worth purchasing.

NYCBrent ,

--->>> animal! / not animal --YES!!!!<<<---

This is, once again, a tremendous success from a breakthrough group of MUSICIANS... whether or not you consider yourself "into indie rock" this is a FANTASTIC group of intellectual and emotional pieces... Don't be confused, the other new release from this group (entitled, simply, "Animal!") is also a great "album" in every sense of the word.

This is a must have for anyone who derrives pleasure from listening to great music!!!!!!!

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