A concept album, Animal Lover depicts a series of short stories, portraying human behavior as witnessed from the perspective of various animals.
Following 2002's melancholy reaction to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, entitled Demons Dance Alone, Animal Lover continues with this darker and more serious style.
In the booklet, the lyrics to each song are preceded by a story from an animal's point of view. For example, "On The Way (To Oklahoma)" begins with a story about a man obsessed with tigers, as told from the viewpoint of a tiger. On this particular track, the man goes insane, thinks he's a tiger, and kills a dog.
However, not every track features an explanatory story: "Dreaming of an Anthill (Teeming)", "Ingrid's Oily Tongue", and "Mr. Bee's Bumble" are all instrumentals and are not included in the album's lyric sheet.
Animal Lover was released on April 5th, 2005 on Mute Records, and also included a bonus disc, generally referred to as "...Imaginary Jack". The six untitled tracks on "...Imaginary Jack" combine elements from tracks from the Animal Lover album, with elements from unreleased material from the same sessions. According to The Cryptic Corporation, "...Imaginary Jack" really is one long track, divided into six parts for the enjoyment of the listener. The full title of the piece is actually the entire text written on the disc:
"I stood at my window staring at an arcing streetlight. A sudden wind made me pull my shoulders to my ears. I pissed into the dark. It smelled like canned tuna. My swollen lip throbbed. I could still taste the blood. My eyes rolled back looking for memories. I stopped. I was changing details in my mind, remembering only what I wanted it to be, not what it was. I had only a short time to do what had to be done, after that it would all be forever absorbed by my imaginary Jack."
Track listing Edit
- On The Way (To Oklahoma) (4:06)
- Olive and Gray (4:07)
- What Have My Chickens Done Now (4:24)
- Two Lips (2:43)
- Mr. Bee's Bumble (3:28)
- Inner Space (4:15)
- Dead Men (3:25)
- My Window (5:20)
- Ingrid's Oily Tongue (1:55)
- Mother No More (3:19)
- Dreaming of an Anthill (Teeming) (2:23)
- Elmer's Song (4:34)
- The Monkey Man (4:01)
- The Whispering Boys (4:27)
- Burn My Bones (6:19)
I Stood At My Window Staring At An Arcing Streetlight. A Sudden Wind Made Me Pull My Shoulders To My Ears. I Pissed Into The Dark. It Smelled Like Canned Tuna. My Swollen Lip Throbbed. I Could Still Taste The Blood. My Eyes Rolled Back Looking For Memories. I Stopped. I Was Changing Details In My Mind, Remembering Only What I Wanted It To Be, Not What It Was. I Had Only A Short Time To Do What Had To Be Done. After That It Would All Be Forever Absorbed By My Imaginary Jack.