Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Person Pitch-
Panda Bear
Label-Paw Tracks
Status-Out as of 2007
3rd Studio Album
Rating-4.5 Feathers

As one of the founding members of the freak folk/psychedelic band Animal Collective, Noah Lennox, or as most know him Panda Bear, is known for his intense percussion and for bringing the pop element into all his musical endeavors. Now on his own again, and wanting to do something completely different from his previous release Young Prayer, Person Pitch was created with a few machines and a microphone.

From the first scratchy sound to the last note, Person Pitch completely sets you in a calmed yet encouraging mood. ‘Comfy in Nautica’ sets the tone perfectly and puts you in just that state of mind immediately. The semi-chant-y looped sample underneath simple vocals paint a picture of sitting on a beach, alone, and perfectly content. ‘Take Pills’ follows in that mood. However, after ‘things get better/just wait and you’ll see’ is sung, the song starts to kick up into an upbeat excitement. It’s inspiring to hear him discuss stopping his use of antidepressants using poppy melodies with a cheery undertone. ‘Bros’ and ‘Good Girl/Carrots’ are 12 minute long masterpieces. ‘Bros’ has feel good samples flawlessly melded together that goes on for 12 minutes with minimal structural change, but it never gets boring. The bright tropical sounding guitar fits the feel-good mood perfectly. ‘Good Girl/Carrots’ is beyond brilliant. Sucking you in with manic drumming and highly filtered vocals, it is significantly darker than the other songs. Just as it’s about to get a little monotonous, ‘Carrots’ subtle-y eases in. ‘Carrots’ is much less serious than the ‘Good Girl’ portion, bringing with it unadulterated joy. The bouncy piano and extremely poppy vocals singing rhymes like ‘sticks and stones may break my bones’ gives the album a sugary coating. Then, just when it seems like it can’t get any more light and fluffy, you hear a tune reminiscent of the ice cream truck melody. If that doesn’t bring you happiness, you are dead inside. In between those masterpieces are songs like ‘I’m Not’ and ‘Search for Delicious’ which have clear connections to Animal Collective with their spacey layers, but are purely Panda’s own style, notably his near unintelligible lyrics (due in part by Panda’s ability to completely mess with pronunciations). The last song, ‘Ponytail,’ is mildly disappointing. It’s a decent song, equipped with semi-catchy blips and well-composed synths, but it just doesn’t pack a punch that a finale should have.

Person Pitch is one of those albums where you are in a completely different state coming out of it than you were going into it. It is only 45 minutes, but it changes your perspective, leaving you feeling calm and generally good. As a solo act, Panda Bear shows that he can bring something to plate that his other projects just can’t.

“That song [Comfy in Nautica] was so sugary and it almost got to the point where I didn’t like how it sounded. I thought it was too sweet, like fake sweet? So I thought I would kind of ground it at the end by putting something really fucked up and dark in there.”-Noah Lennox (Panda Bear)

Video for Comfy in Nautica

Recommendations: Comfy in Nautica, Take Pills, Bros, Good Girl/Carrots
Panda Bear's Official Website
Note: This review really took a lot to write, so I hope that translates and you enjoy! I will have a review for Gax5 by Spoon out soon. (I'm a poet and I didn't even know it O_o) Remember, requests are welcome and comments are much appreciated!

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