Panda Bear – Person Pitch
Paw Tracks, 2007
Acquired: Love Garden, New, 2007
This is the record of 2007. Not my favorite record, but the one people will remember 2007 for. It's just a fact, pretty much. And I don't know how I feel about that. Person Pitch spawned legions of copycats, and it made weeding through CDs at music staff kind of a pain because every other CD you were putting “RIYL: Panda Bear, Animal Collective.” I can't really fault Noah Lennox here though, it's not his fault. He made a really excellent, gorgeous, inventive album that was still basically a summertime pop record and everyone thought it was hot shit and wanted to be the next Panda Bear. I remember Drew from Baby Birds accosting me at some party because of the review I wrote of their latest record for KJ. In particular, he took offense to the fact that I slighted it because it sounded like a Person Pitch rip-off. I didn't even say it that way! I was nice about it, because I generally liked that record, but he got all upset and I told him that if he didn't want people to compare Baby Birds to Panda Bear they should stop sounding like Panda Bear. Every review I've read of that album namedrops Panda Bear, it's just how it goes. Anyway, it's everywhere. And now that Animal Collective have released thee album of 2009 (not just according to Pitchfork, but everyone, people are gaga for that thing and rightly so, it's damn good) they've cornered the music market of the late 00s. Everyone wants to have that sound collagey background noise, the tribal drum beats, the echoy vocals with the reverb and the bright guitar lines. Lately, the lo-fi garage revival thing and “glo-fi” have become thee It thing, but still bands insist on doing this Animal Collective/ Panda Bear thing. It's natural, I guess. I think I'm just jaded because I had to listen to so many copycats after this came out. Bitching aside, I love this record all around. I'm not obsessive about it, but I love hearing it when it's on or on the radio. I love the album art, I love the design, I love the package. I love that I was drawn to it at the record store, like I knew I had to have it on vinyl because that was the proper medium. Or something like that. I like that I have no desire to see Panda Bear (or Animal Collective for that matter) live, because I know it would be boring as fuck. And I don't need to see them live, the records are good enough. Sound documents of a time and a place. Best of all, two years later this album still feels ahead of its time. Oh, and because it's required. BRIAN WILSON, BEACH BOYS.