Panda Bear | Tomboy

Paw Tracks (2011)
By RYAN REED  |  April 13, 2011
3.5 3.5 Stars

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Tomboy, Noah Lennox a/k/a Panda Bear's third studio album, kicks off with "You Can Count on Me," a slab of intoxicating psychedelia that's quintessentially Panda Bear, from the gorgeous choir-boy vocal harmonies (enunciated to crisp perfection) to the plentiful reverb to the uplifting, major-key message of family commitment. Fitting title, too: ever since he started writing songs — both as a member of the freak flagship coalition Animal Collective, expanding from his primary role as a percussionist and sound tweaker, and as a critically acclaimed solo artist — he's been the definition of reliability. His 2007 landmark, Person Pitch, was a joyous playground of spaced-out samples and broken beats, built on repetition and distant, wandering ecstasy. But if that album was a bad-ass independent film, Tomboy is a tricked-out, big-budget epic built for IMAX. Sonic Boom's expansive mixing gives each sound greater prominence, and those sounds are some of the loveliest he's yet produced — like the delayed guitar chunks in "Slow Motion," the shooting-star synth in the title track, and, of course, a shitload of transcendent melodies at every turn. "Can I make a bad mistake?", Lennox sighs amid the hypnotic strands of "Alsatian Darn." At this rate, it hardly seems he can.
  Topics: CD Reviews , Music, Animal Collective, Noah Lennox,  More more >
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