Panda Bear:Person Pitch
Bob Burnett: I had eight emusic downloads left on my monthly "use 'em or lose 'em" account. I cashed them in on Animal Collective member Noah Lennox's (aka Panda Bear) solo project Person Pitch. Man, what a great choice that turned out to be!
Person Pitch is getting a little public relations bump in awareness these days because online review site Pitchfork just voted it their 2007 album of the year. Although I far from swear by Pitchfork's opinions, it made me curious to hear it---that and a little more research revealed Person Pitch to be equally cherished as it is despised by some listeners as a faddish, over-rated release. The sterno-esque flash point for many is Lennox's vocal quality having vast similarities to Beach Boys/Brian Wilson--circa Pet Sounds......too similar for some listeners but okay by me. Lennox overlaps his voice tracks and drenches them in reverb. Lyrics are distorted and almost unrecognizable in a Radiohead manner. The Beach Boys connection ends there for me. Brian Wilson carefully crafted songs with hooks, bridges, tight arrangements and intricate harmonies, Noah Lennox creates a series of Terry Riley-inspired repetitive drone/modal sound adventures. There is a Simon and Garfunkel "Cecelia"-tinged pop catch to everything but in a spacious, rhythm-evolving, multi-sound loop way. There's nothing guitar-bass-drum about this work; the album was put together digitally by Lennox at his home in Lisbon over a period of years. It took vast amounts of sampling, looping, mixing board choreography and performance. I've just begun listening to Person Pitch but am very enthusiastic about many future listens. I get the feeling this is going to become one of my iPOD favorites.