Reviews in 200 Words

"Tomboy" by Panda Bear

In Album, podcast on April 13, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Love him or loath him, give Noah Lennox credit: He’s one of the few artists today who can make such noisy, ambient, droning, and abrasive music so accessible. This is pop music disguised as freakiness. It’s not for everybody, but it could be. Despite the weirdness, it’s hard to avoid humming the serpentine melody on “Slow Motion” after the song is gone. Or to shake the bouncing lilt of “Alsatian Darn.”
Lennox (who records solo under the Panda Bear moniker, and also as one fourth of Animal Collective) is doing things with sound that no one else is approaching. Just try and locate an instrument in the melee. The guitar sounds like an organ. The drums sound like thunderclaps. The ocean sounds like static fuzz.
And yet, melodies and plentiful. Rhythm abounds. And the harmonies recall everything from “Pet Sounds” to Hildegard von Bingen.
Still skeptical? Try this: open GarageBand and make your own song. Explore how hard it is – not just to make the noises, but to make the noises come together. Because all across this album they do. The screech and holler finally coalesces. And it’s beautiful, provoking, antagonistic, and – ultimately – rewarding.
You’ve read the review, now listen for yourself. This week we’re offering up the first, official Beat Jab Podcast. Hear us break down what we’re hearing, what we’re liking, and get a sampling of songs from this weeks album review. Right click the link to start the download. And happy listening!

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