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The Blue & Gray Press | August 16, 2018

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Panda Bear's New Album Offers More of the Same

By MATT BLAKLEY

The ornate sounds of “Tomboy,” the latest album Noah Lennox’s solo project Panda Bear will certainly leave fans satisfied.

Released under Lennox’s own Paw Tracks label, “Tomboy” is Panda Bear’s fourth record.  If you’re familiar with the experimental sound of Lennox’s more mainstream outfit Animal Collective, you’ll feel right at home with Panda Bear.

“Tomboy” has a generally simple sound that relies largely on monotonous rhythms and repetitive lyrics, though the album is not without pockets of complex arrangement.

The balance Lennox achieves between simplicity and complexity creates an interesting sonic pallet that’s explored throughout the albums fluid, stimulating songs.

The masterful flow of the album makes it difficult for listeners to discern the end of one song and the beginning of the next as the songs blend seamlessly together.  You can listen to the entire album and mistake it for just a couple of tracks.

Album highlights include “You Can Count on Me,” a solid one-song representation of the album’s sound, “Slow Motion,” a track that boasts a layered, experimental beat, and “Benifica,” the terrific closer.

Also of note is “Friendship Bracelet.”  The track opens with shaky, unstable sounds and rhythms before giving way to a more Animal Collective inspired arrangement.

Praises aside “Tomboy” offers few surprises, and after waiting four years for the follow up to 2007’s “Person Pitch,” Panda Bear’s lack of evolution is disappointing.