Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper Album Review
Released January 9, 2015
Genre: Psychedelic Pop, Experimental Pop, Electronica
This album review is pretty late, so I will take the time to briefly state my opinion on the album and what it means for music in general. First and foremost, this album signals a progression in Panda Bear’s music. It is even more electronic than his previous albums. It is both sample and synth heavy. Instead of using electronic instruments to create an ambient atmosphere that feels like a surreal version of nature like he did in Person Pitch. Here, he embraces the electronic nature of his instruments in a more straightforward way while still making extensive use of sampling. But this is not without its faults.
While most of the album provides satisfying music, transitions and weak tracks hold it back. For instance, the album does not always feel like one continuous and coherent piece of music as some transitions between songs are abrupt and do not fit into the context of the entire album. Second, some tracks are very short and do not have any vocals. While instrumental tracks can fit into an album, these do not provide any additional meaning. They feel tacked on and do not add to the overall movement of the album. Thus, while I enjoy Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper, I cannot give it a perfect score.
But how does this album reflect the music industry as a whole? PBVSGR reflects a very modern change in music. While electronic instruments have been widely used since the mid 20th century, the way people utilize them has evolved. When they first came out, people toyed with the foreign, electronic sounds, but as time progressed, people began using these instruments to compliment existing instruments by using more natural sounds. Music became more ambient and broke free from genre constraints. But music must change as the times change, and this decade is no different. PBVSGR reflects the music industries return to pure electronic sounds. It is unapologetically electronic. Although this movement is not completely new, it is beginning to reach its height. One can even observe it in today’s pop music. It is fascinating, new, promising, and amazing.
PRETTY NEAT MUSIC
FAV TRACKS: Sequential Circuits, Mr. Noah, Crosswords, Butcher Baker Candlestick Maker, Boys Latin, Come To Your Senses, Lonely Wanderer, Principe Real, Selfish Gene, Acid Wash
LEAST FAV TRACKS: Davy Jones’ Locker, Tropic of Cancer, Shadow of the Colossus