Panda Bear
Tomboy


3.0
good

Review

by Andrew Kaster USER (24 Reviews)
April 5th, 2011 | 250 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "When there are hard times, I'll step it up."

Tomboy begins shrouded in uncertainty. Noah Lennox’s words, “Know you can count on me”, sound suspiciously like, “No, you can’t count on me." It’s the first album in which Lennox seems to have no idea how he wants to affect the listener, which is something he has never had trouble with before. Even though the instrumentation is more immediate, discernable, and intimate, his vocals sound more distant than ever. These are the same vocals that take the foreground of this album, as Lennox has chosen to pile on the reverb and overdubs to nearly obscene amounts. In many ways, Tomboy is a soul bearing experience for Lennox; a point of contention for those who aren’t particularly tuned to the same spiritual compass as he is.

It's an album torn down the middle; half of the tracks are beat heavy dance numbers while the other half are near madrigal drones. Repetition plays an even greater role than before here, as Lennox's appeal on this record seems to weigh solely on whether or not his drones reach epiphany. While they most often do, there are times I'm left waiting for the sunlight to break through the heavily clouded atmosphere of some of these tracks. Needless to say, Tomboy works better as a headphones album; drowning you in its ocean of sounds and rhythms. However, swimming through this album can be a bit of a stagnant experience when the tides aren't grooving.

That being said, Tomboy's more droning tracks (such as the aptly named "Drone", or, "Scheherezade") are as cold and indirect as a cathedral choir. While beautiful, his vocals are so distant from the listener that it's hard to feel like Lennox is singing to you and not at you. On the other hand, groovier numbers such as "Slow Motion" and "Last Night at the Jetty" provide a simpler and more enjoyable approach to Lennox's pop sensibilities. These tracks aren't so aggressively hypnotic, allowing them to slowly work their way into your consciousness. These are also the songs that seem to have the most direction; songs that don't get lost in the abrasive "beauty" of Lennox's vocals.

Tomboy is nothing at all uncharacteristic or surprising coming from Lennox. His same sense of slathered sunshine and "good vibes" accompany some truly fantastic melodies. However, too often the album becomes directionless and tedious. Where Person Pitch was something to piece together (or, strip apart), Tomboy is an album that comes pre-assembled. With fewer moments to extract and absorb, this album simply must be taken as is. Lennox is preventing himself from spacing out and adventuring, as sounds that should appear and then evaporate return again and again to a degree where it becomes overwhelming. Criticism aside, Tomboy is still terribly catchy whenever it gains focus (and more often than not, it does). And despite the coldness that permeates some of these tracks, Lennox still allows his electronic compositions to retain a sort of "humanly" spirit.

If anything, Lennox's latest is an album that walks listeners through the same motions, proving his heart rests at home; somewhere quaint and cozy and not too far out of the ordinary. If ordinary life is a trip, then Tomboy is the drug (even if its high wears off rather quickly).



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user ratings (346)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
Lucid CONTRIBUTOR (1.5)
Alternate rating: 4.5. Bear with me please....

Daniel Smith (4.5)
Nemo saltat sobrius....

J. Ponton EMERITUS (2)
The question really is, then, what feelings are we exactly trying to feel and why?...

Adam Downer STAFF (4)
I believe it was the philosopher Tare who told us: "Feeling is good."...


Comments:Add a Comment 
SloppyMilkshake
April 5th 2011


981 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Oh hai Panda Bear. Lets be reviewed, huh?

cvlts
April 5th 2011


8985 Comments


jesus, rape a thesaurus while you're at it.

SloppyMilkshake
April 5th 2011


981 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"Intervallic", "edificial", and "encapsulates" are perhaps the only three words that could've easily been substituted for a simpler word, yet I preferred not to. That's hardly even foreplay with a thesaurus.

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
April 5th 2011


28829 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

easily one of the worst reviews in recent history

thank you for this

Digging: Charli XCX - Sucker

Gyromania
April 5th 2011


16089 Comments


Great review.

cvlts
April 5th 2011


8985 Comments


twas a joke ;]

wabbit
April 5th 2011


7035 Comments


tkol round 2

SloppyMilkshake
April 5th 2011


981 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

@genocide; Oh, good. Lets make out now.

@rabbit; right? I was shocked nobody reviewed this within ten minutes of the stream being out.


Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
April 5th 2011


31629 Comments


Tbh, when you (not you specifically, but anyone) start throwing around more verbose vernacular it really takes away from the review. I don't need to reach for a thesaurus to understand anything here, but the writing tends to become almost mechanical the more syllables you attempt to stack into it. Honestly, dumb your reviews down and they'll flow so much better as a result. Of course, simply my 2 cents.

Album is merely good

Digging: Theo Parrish - American Intelligence

cvlts
April 5th 2011


8985 Comments


^yeah what he said.

SloppyMilkshake
April 5th 2011


981 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah, I agree. I've been meaning to try that with a review (to be more exact, I've been meaning to go back to that way of writing), but I haven't written much lately because of school. Album is possibly just good, but I'm a huge fan of this sound.

Sleep now. Awake to more possible neg/praise in equal amounts. Any response is a good response, though.

SloppyMilkshake
April 5th 2011


981 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Fuck it, revised the review a bit. Hopefully it reads better.

SLEEP NOW

liledman
April 5th 2011


3826 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"create samples"

sampling by definition is sampling something already created, i dont think that is the best way to word it.

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
April 5th 2011


28829 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

this review is painful to read. who the fuck invited the second coming of bitchfork? struggling through it actually hurt my balls. the new btbam review is a billion times funnier...

lancebramsay
April 5th 2011


1585 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Since when are we allowed to review albums that aren't officially out yet?

lancebramsay
April 5th 2011


1585 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nevermind, streaming on NPR... POS'd

#facepalm

Braids "Native Speaker">this

darnielle
April 5th 2011


221 Comments


Braids "Native Speaker">this

wrong


Enotron
April 5th 2011


7695 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

last night at the jetty is so good

sifFlammable
April 5th 2011


2741 Comments


I'm amazed that you (and several other Noah fanatics) have listened to this enough times in such a short period of time to be able to write a review on it already. Kudos to your dedication bro lol

Album sounded pretty cool on first stream - I'll just wait for it to be out b4 forming any real opinions i suppose.

Tyrael
April 5th 2011


20975 Comments


Ugh this album. I enjoyed the review nonetheless.



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