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Panda Bear: Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper

It’s everything you would expect from Panda Bear wrapped up in a colorful package.

Panda Bear’s highly anticipated fifth album is finally here and it does not disappoint. This record features everything fans of Noah Lennox adore; lovely sprawling melodies, bizarre noise and loops, intricate details in the production, and ambiguous lyrics. This album spans a wide range of feels; from funky to dreamy to poppy. It’s a fantastic combination of his previous solo work as well as his Animal Collective repertoire.

The album starts out with the overwhelmingly magical “Sequential Circuits,” which immerses the  listener into Lennox’s endless range of vocals and loops.  It leads perfectly into the single of the album, “Mr. Noah,” which we’ve been digging for a while here at the station. “Crosswords” sounds like an amped up version of a track off Tomboy. “Boys Latin” another single from the album is a little spacey and funky. With inaudible lyrics delivered in echoes ranging in pitch and a steady rhythm it has a bit of a Centipede Hz vibe. “Come to Your Senses” has a groovy, drivin’ beat and simple repetitive lyrics.“Tropic of Cancer” is a lovely chill emotional ballad that was one of my personal favorites. The instrumentation is chillingly beautiful. The track is so dreamy I want to drift into a peaceful sleep with the help of the lullaby like melody delivered by Lennox’s sweet vocals. “Lonely Wanderer” features a hazy piano so lovely I can’t stand it with the occasional intimidating synth growl. “Principe Real” is a funky psychedelic dream of a song. It’s fairly dance-able and even features a steady clap back beat.

Throughout this album Lennox takes listeners on a journey as he meets and defeats the grim reaper. It’s an album that is diverse, lush and complex. It’s everything you would expect from Panda Bear wrapped up in a colorful package.

Recommended if you like: Animal Collective, Dent May, Atlas Sound

Recommend tracks: “Boys Latin,” “Principe Real,” “Sequential Circuits,” and “Tropic of Cancer” 

Reviewed by Emilie Stafford January 21, 2015