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Panda Bear: Tomboy

Paw Tracks

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Panda Bear's Tomboy is a graceful next step following the successes that mastermind Noah Lennox scored with his previous solo outing, Person Pitch (2007), and Animal Collective's Merriweather Post Pavilion (2009). Tomboy sounds instantly familiar because it reinterprets the blueprint for Person Pitch and functions as the flip side of the coin. Lennox's serene vocal drones are the guiding light around which blissed-out threads of guitar and looped, minimal beats resonate on "You Can Count On Me" and "Last Night at the Jetty." The biggest shift here is Lennox's Brian Wilson-adoration has vanished, and the layers of samples that made Person Pitch such a summery album have given way to subtle atmospheric textures. Through a pair of headphones the beaded textures in "Surfers Hymn" and "Afterburner" reveal all kinds of secret noises and melodies hiding behind the larger sounds. As such, Tomboy is a high and lonesome hit best unraveled in solitude. (4 out of 5 stars)

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