09 Jan Brightside Review: ‘Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper’
Let go of yourself. If there were any type of sufficient advice I could give before listening to Panda Bear’s new album, it would be “let go of yourself”. Of course we expected for this project to really push the limits of what weird is defined as, but god damn, this dude has made something that makes your ears question themselves. Therefore, by fully letting go, you can enjoy the newly founded soundscapes of the Animal Collective frontman.
Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper begins with “Sequential Circuits” which is finely similar to that of some monastery hymn. It’s almost like a transition into the unknown, leading you back and forth down a hallway of uncertainty. The type of uncertainty you can’t describe because it’s coming from a fucking iTunes library.
Besides being completely misunderstood, Panda Bear really embraces the experimental nature of a synth. Some of the noises you hear throughout the album are almost 100% by accident it feels, and I kinda wish they weren’t so obvious. He’s never been a stretch artist, but it seems like a few of the tracks retain noises too out there to be non-purpose driven.
There’s a wide line between Panda’s vocals and the production, wherein the song travels under a different light than his voice. This, I like. Most singers/songwriters tailor the voice or the strum to fit the latter, and Panda purely sings his song, and plays his song, on totally different wavelengths. Brilliant.
There’s a total of 13 tracks on this project, and it’s 13 tracks I’ve been dying for. Would I say it’s everything I wanted? Unfortunately, no. The tracks seem to be too similar to one another, giving no distinct stand outs through the project. However, I do not discredit Panda Bear for releasing one of the most peculiar projects I’ve heard in a long time. Take a listen to “Butcher Baker Candlestick Maker” and “Boys Latin” if you’re looking for a quick touchdown.