michael gallucci

ALBUM REVIEW — PANDA BEAR

In album review on 04/05/2011 at 10:17 am

Panda Bear

Tomboy

(Paw Tracks)

No matter how much they strip away ambition, pretension, and the occasional debris that clutters their records, the members of Animal Collective, together and solo, can’t help but sound ambitious, pretentious, and occasionally cluttered. Noah Lennox’s fourth album as Panda Bear streamlines the sounds and textures of Animal Collective’s 2009 masterpiece Merriweather Post Pavilion and finds a sort of restless comfort in the grooves. Unlike Panda Bear’s 2007 release, Person Pitch, Tomboy holds back a bit on the overstuffed tiers of noise. This is a more inviting album, or at least as inviting as an Animal Collective album can be. On the opening “You Can Count on Me,” Lennox underlines his layered harmonies with crawling handclaps. And “Last Night at the Jetty” is a playful, leisurely stroll. Elsewhere, synths, guitars, reverb, and pounding percussion steer Tomboy toward a sharper sense of melodic bliss.

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