How Far Can He Throw You?
With the arrival of 2008 we all look back on records released in the last year and pick our favorites. Few have the honor of seeing their work hailed as among the best but Panda Bear (Noah Lennox) not only finds his record Person Pitch but also his band Animal Collective’s record Strawberry Jam on many “”Best of 2007″” lists. All his work this past year paid off and the world has two more great records as a result.
Person Pitch deserves all the praise it gets and more. Although it is a sample-heavy record many listeners would never know it if they weren’t told. Panda Bear’s Beach Boys-influenced, psychedelic lyrical melodies float over the samples as though they were made for each other (rather than the former being specifically tailored for the latter.) His playful yet poignant lyrics both ask questions and provide some answers. On “”Take Pills”” he offers, “”Take one day at a time / Everything else you can leave behind / Only one thing at a time / Anything more really hurts your mind / I don’t want for us to / Take pills / Anymore / Not that it’s bad,”” repeating it into oblivion.
ame In all its experimental glory Person Pitch doesn’t lack for variety. It has songs that range from almost 13 minutes to 2 minutes in length. It has moments of abrasive industrial noise coupled with beautiful three-part vocal harmony. It even has a recognizable Scott Walker sample (“”Always Coming Back to You””) punctuated by indiscernible crunches and owl hoots.
ame One could call Person Pitch unlistenable in comparison to the dreamy, poppy records it pretends to be at times. However, that would neglect the fact that everything, even pop, needs to move on to new realms eventually. Panda Bear just happens to be the driving force taking pop into the world of the experimental.