Jonathan Meiburg is back – with a band, which outside the circle of the usual critics just didn’t get the deserved attention, and with an album that could finally change that. »Animal Joy« gets straight to the heart of the musician and scientist Meiburg’s affinity with nature. As indicated by »Animal Life«, the record’s first song and most likely hit, this long player is just as versatile as nature itself. What’s always in the center is the unmatched power of Jonathan Meiburg’s voice, which has always made Shearwater stand out within the uniformed mash of all the other indie-folk-bands. On »Animal Joy«, Shearwater seem to be at one with themselves. The mentioned »Animal Life« is like a blueprint for an outstanding folk-rock-hit, while »Breaking The Yearlings« only tries to take it from there, but eventually only develops into a rather scuffling bass-thunderstorm. »Immaculate« is an uptempo-rocker, which takes the listener by surprise. It’s quite the opposite of »Open Your Houses (Basilisk)«, which downshifts about 10 gears at once. Phil Ek, the new producer, has put the production into a dress suitable for the radio, and so big success should be just around the corner. The only question remaining is whether that is something which we or Meiburg would actually wish for.