Panda Bear – Person Pitch

“Coolness is having courage, courage to do what’s right. I’ll try to remember always, just to have a good time. “  Comfy in Nautica – Panda Bear

Since my unofficial break from the blogosphere, my solitary fan has asked what review I would ultimately break my silence with. He offered up many suggestions, some subtle, some not so much. All of them were good and worthy of praise, and will eventually probably end up reviewed (until then I’ll pretend I have bigger and better things to do). But the true question here is one of worth. Is Panda Bear’s 2007 record, Person Pitch WORTH breaking my silence?

After I finally decided to use this album as the cornerstone for my return to the internet I had to figure out what to write about it. Person Pitch truly transcends any words I could put next to/near/around/away from it. The album transcends words, good/bad/indifferent. Panda Bear has truly achieved something spectacular with this album. Through many albums with his other (main) project, Animal Collective, Panda Bear has grown as a musician and a sonic pioneer. The path he’s taken has not always been clean, good, or even enjoyable, but it has always been interesting, and his own. With the release of Person Pitch, Panda Bear has achieved the unachievable, he has perfectly and honestly harnessed and recreated not music, personality, sound, or otherwise, but a feeling.

Person Pitch’s vocals, often echoed, reverbed and distant, sink into a sonic bed of (sometimes subtle) melodies, swirling samples and ambient noise. The songs contain an energy that I can’t quite associate with any other album I’ve ever heard. This is not to say it’s the best album I’ve ever heard, do not misread. The resulting album is best listened to in one continuous sitting. This is the way the songs make the best sense. The album is more than the sum of its parts. Each songs plays off the previous and into the next, blending mode, manner and mood.  The lyrics are top notch and reek with an honesty that would have shocked the late Hunter S. Thompson. The 3rd song on the album (and the strongest), Bros, is an epic song with barbed lyrics that are delivered with such nonchalance that it’s tough to stomach.

The entire lyrics are as follows:

Panda Bear – Bros

hey man what’s your problem
don’t you know that i don’t belong to you
it’s hard and hard enough
to keep it up when everything is so new

i’m not trying to forget you
i just like to be alone
come and give me the space i need
and you may and you may
and you may and you may and you may
find that we’re alright
i’m not trying to forget you
i just like to be my own
come and give me the space i need
and you may and you may
and you may and you may and you may
find that we’re alright

i mean no offense to you
but grow up
can’t you just grow up?
when are you going to
give it your own go?
give it your own go
i know i’m being way too hard
but i know that i’m trying

i know myself
and i know what i want to do
i’m doing my best
and i want to know
is it good for you?
you give me trouble
you give me everything that you’ve got
ill show you that
what’s right for you me
ain’t for you

don’t look out for me

who are you to tell me how
when you’ve problems of your own
i do love you and
i want to hold on to you for always

Person Pitch is a potentially devastating and draining listen, if it hits you in the right spot. Be careful, and when you’re feeling up to it, spin it. The album is a monumental achievement. How good is it? It could the best album of this decade so far that isn’t by a band called Radiohead. I really don’t know. I just don’t know.

5.0/5.0

Here’s a video of Panda Bear performing Bros live in the UK. Though long this video is quite the gem:

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