PANDA BEAR Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper (Domino USA)

Pasatiempo - - PASA TEMPOS - — Robert Ker

In 2007 An­i­mal Col­lec­tive song­writer Noah Len­nox (aka Panda Bear) re­leased Per­son Pitch, his third solo LP. Its in­flu­ence quickly be­came ap­par­ent as waves of bands at­tempted to repli­cate his Brian Wil­sonesque melodies, wavy in­stru­men­ta­tion, and low-key sam­ples — partly for at­ten­tion, partly be­cause th­ese sounds are easy to re­pro­duce, and partly be­cause Per­son Pitch is so bril­liant and inspiring. The im­i­ta­tors pre­sented a prob­lem for Len­nox: He now had to re­claim his turf or move on to some­thing new. Whether or not the ti­tle of his new­est al­bum re­flects a shed­ding of this mu­si­cal per­sona, the mu­sic does in­deed branch off into a brac­ing new di­rec­tion — one that proves more fruit­ful than even Per­son Pitch. He adds el­e­ments of dub bass and industrial beats to his sound, fill­ing out an ocean-deep bot­tom end that even makes songs such as “Mr. Noah,” “Boys Latin,” and “Come to Your Senses” dance­able, which sug­gests that he learned a trick or two from his Daft Punk col­lab­o­ra­tion last year. The new va­ri­ety of colors and tex­tures goes be­yond the per­cus­sive, with an ac­cor­dion and harp flesh­ing out “Tropic of Can­cer,” a Chopin-like pi­ano ac­cen­tu­at­ing “Lonely Wan­derer,” and howl­ing dogs har­mo­niz­ing with metal­lic noise in “Mr. Noah.” And on top of all this, the songs are catchy and sat­is­fy­ing. Good luck to any­body try­ing to mimic this one.

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