Panda Bear – Tomboy. 8.5/10.

Noah Lennox’s Tomboy faced inevitable intense scrutiny from the day the single ‘Tomboy’ was first released in July 2010. As with every successful album, artist or band the succeeding work is analysed often rashly and more importantly harshly. I spent a great deal of time and effort attempting not to fall into either of these categories.

The opening track ‘You Can Count on Me’ when released was limited to 500 copies and sold out in a day, it is one highlight of many. Lennox can actually sing which is more than welcoming when crafting harmonies and has resulted in an eerie yet alluring playlist of records. ‘Slow Motion’ epitomises this. Both the track and album seem to embrace that summer haze we all crave, the track is a simple composition, hypnotic in effect and circular in sound (the last is not a criticism). This is reoccurring throughout the whole of Tomboy.

You find yourself becoming helplessly absorbed in the repetitive trance-filled lyrics and the project as a whole feels somewhat more intimate than any Animal Collective. My personal favourite is ‘Scheherazade’ which halters the album to a slow-paced, piano-fused drone, seducing any listener even though it’s almost vocally incomprehensible.

The album is more minimalistic than Lennox’s earlier projects, more direct, simpler and perhaps slightly restrictive. The journey of Merriweather Post Pavilion seems inapplicable to Tomboy as it strikes as a series of individualistic creations thrown together without the ad hoc intricacy Person Pitch had. Moreover, I described the album as alluring above; I cannot state that I fell in love with Tomboy. Judged on its own it is an exceptional album fully deserving of a place on any playlist, but I will not insist on its plays like I insisted on ‘In The Flowers’ and ‘My Girls’ got played. In short, it falls slightly short of such impressive standards earlier set.


From James Finney.

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