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Panda Bear Does It Again, Unfortunately

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Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper

Panda Bear - 2015

I have a love-hate relationship with Noah Lennox. I love Person Pitch, his 2007 psychadelic plunderphonics pop parade that doubles as his magnum opus, and hate pretty much else he's done outside of Animal Collective. Young Prayer is a sloppily written (if written at all) folk mini-album that, aside from the stomping "Track 05", may have been the worst collection of songs released in 2005. I struggled with his last LP, Tomboy, as well, as I found it to be a record that tried too hard to sound the same as Person Pitch, while simultaenously trying to be different. Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper (or PBVSGR, as it will be referred to from now on) suffers the same fate as Tomboy, except this time there isn't any trying to be different; instead of using samples, PBVSGR is Lennox trying to recreate the playful magic of Person Pitch organically. And while there are some good tracks on PBVSGR ("Mr. Noah", "Principe Real"), the reason Person Pitch was so captivating is because it wasn't organic. The warmth of the actual instruments sampled on the record and how they support Panda Bear's wailing vocals were what made Person Pitch so enjoyable, and the robotic sounds of PBVSGR, and Tomboy before it, the cold electronic feel of synths and programmed drums can't do what Lennox is trying to achieve: make fake instruments come to real life.

GENRES: PSYCH-POP, SYNTH POP 

Posted by Michael Di Gennaro

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Comments

I'm glad you got this review in as this was one of the big releases meant to kick off 2015. I previewed it and wasn't much enamored with what I heard and you have convinced me that a preview is time enough with it. The last album that he was involved in that I really enjoyed was Animal Collective's, Merriweather Post Pavilion. ('Brother Sport', off that album, is still an all time favorite of mine. I remember falling asleep outside when first listening to that album and waking up during the middle of that track as its breaking from the huge crescendo of noise into, 'Until fully grown'. It was one of those wonderful music moments where I had no idea what was going on, totally disoriented and then being saved as it broke down into the end section. Great moment in my music listening career.) Regardless, it's definitely starting to seem that Noah is becoming a one-trick pony (he needs to either stop using or try a different filter for his voice!).

Posted over 4 years ago by MoiAndrew Scott

I feel the same way about AnCo right now, the solo stuff really doesn't do justice to the group records (*cough* Radiohead *cough*). I think he really topped out with "bros" off person pitch. I can listen to that song all day

Posted over 4 years ago by ImageMichael Di Gennaro

After all of the bad reviews, I don't even feel like listening to it. It seems to be pretty universally panned.

Posted over 4 years ago by TambegifTambe

Posted: 01/21/2015