Panda Bear – Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper

By Wright Franklin
KRUA Music Manager

Layout_11_A_FINAL_CorrSome things defy words. Noah Lennox, better known by his stage name Panda Bear, has made a career of creating sounds that do just that. A lot cheerier than his last release, Tomboy in 2011, Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper is nevertheless just what you would expect from Mr. Noah (which so happens to be the title of the lead single) – psychedelic, exploratory, wandering and beautiful. Each song creates a visual landscape. The rhythms and patterns are at times hard to follow, but they never lose their appeal.

The album opens with “Sequential Circuits,” a flowing and mystical track that sounds like a journey across a river. “Mr. Noah,” the first single off the album begins with a long, eerie, and mechanical intro that gives way to drums and the robotic lead synthesizer forming a brick wall with Lennox’s vocals bouncing, oozing and trickling off of it. “Crosswords” is a solid follow up, with a peppy beat utilizing lots of shakers and a subtle vocoder in the background. Other strong songs include the dizzying “Boys Latin” and the heartbreaking “Tropic of Cancer,” which features very personal lyrics about Lennox’s late father.

Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper provides a rich emotional spectrum. Though racks 7 through 10 do get a bit moody, the album ends on a happy note with the lush “Principe Real” and loud “Acid Wash.” Regardless of its share of melancholy moments, Panda Bear clearly made a deliberate effort to make a more fun record this time around. For fans and new listeners alike, Lennox did not disappoint with this one.

8/10

Track List:

  1. Sequential Circuits
  2. Mr. Noah
  3. Davy Jones’ Locker
  4. Crosswords
  5. Butcher Baker Candlestick Maker
  6. Boys Latin
  7. Come to Your Senses
  8. Tropic of Cancer
  9. Shadow of the Colossus
  10. Lonely Wanderer
  11. Principe Real
  12. Selfish Gene
  13. Acid Wash

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: