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Manipulator

4.5 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 26, 2014
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Editorial Reviews

THE SEGALL HAS LANDED. And it s fully loaded, with everything that TY SEGALL (and you and me) are gonna need in the world to come. Heads up! It s coming down fast. Sticking his hand deeper into the machines all around him, TY is reaching ever further to the outer limits of inner space orbited throughout TWINS and SLEEPER. And now more than ever, the chunks of the world that came before are like asteroids formed in his image . . . picking up speed . . . . Still fighting the power with all the energy that a deter- mined mind-patriot can conjure, Ty s a fighter who loves, a surfer, a spaceman, and yeah, a casualty like you, he ll never be free. But unlike you, he knows it and when he goes down and his head cracks in two, out pour the multi-colored manias that make up MANIPULATOR. Sour-sweet declarations fea- turing freaks and creeps alike: The Singer, The Faker, Mister Main, Susie Thumb, the Connection Man, and The Crawler, to name but a mutant fistful. To see these peeps, to realize their dreams and visions, TY kept working, kept writing, laying down more tracks than ever. New musi- cal expressions pop and surprise relentlessly throughout all the knockout tunes of MANIP- ULATOR with many sounds in the mix but LP most of all, SO many guitars! So Many. And different kinds of strings - the strangled-neck solo of The Singer, recalling the good old days down by the river with Neil. Numbed-and-unplugged discursions spiraling away from the funk on Mister Main. Three-quarter quartets raising their din in a few key places. Waves of sparkling acoustics with ominous, Lovely undertones and then, torrents of filthy git-grunge, exploding into the chorus, washing everything away, fusing the black- ness of SABBATH with the grime and grab-ass of the STOOGES and the sweet swinging tones of the STONES. All in the name of getting high- er on the music. Why have one guitar solo when you can have a few in the same space? There s so little time, and a LOT to say. In order to ensure that he got it all out, TY called a few friends to fill in special parts on certain MANIPULATOR songs. He got great touches from CHRIS WOODHOUSE (piano, synth & percussion), SEAN PAUL PRESLEY (vocals), BRIT LAUREN MANOR (vocals), STEVE NUTTING (drums), IRENE SALZER (violin), JESSICA IVRY (cello), MATTHIAS MCENTIRE (viola) and the TY SEGALL band (MIKAL CRONIN, CHARLES MOOTHEART, EM- ILY ROSE EPSTEIN). Plus, MIKAL arranged the strings and everyone played awesomely. The clarion call/siren song of his guitar....clouds of guitar billowing, blood rushing to the head, the tempera- ture going from blue to red....TY s on a mission, working to change chemistry through music with the streamlined pop and helium-cooled vocals of MANIPULATOR. These seventeen songs take many forms, as if TY is finally releasing all the thoughts that have been holding him down, that made him pick up the ax to begin with. By the end of MANIPULATOR, you ll feel that he must have chased all the demons but it s a big world, and MANIPULATOR has only begun to fight.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 26, 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Drag City
  • ASIN: B00KUIV2OK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,652 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

By J. Hubner on September 3, 2014
Format: Audio CD
I have to be completely honest here, okay? I've never been much of a fan of this guy called Ty Segall. Yeah, I know this is a shocking revelation to the world at large, but I felt I needed to get that out in the open before I went any further with this review. I will say that I've always admired the guy and his rather prolific output. If he's not putting out something under his own name then he's putting something out with one of his West Coast garage/psych brethren. While everyone around me hailed Segall as the second coming of rock n' roll, I responded with a less than enthusiastic "meh." I bought last year's Sleeper and found it to be an earnest little record that didn't feel the need to hide behind piles of hiss and feedback(not that I have anything against hiss and feedback.) I think with me it's always been this feeling that Segall was hiding behind the noise instead of wielding it as one of his many weapons in his rock n' roll arsenal. Well, I am here to admit dear readers that I was dead wrong about the 26 year-old wunderkind from Orange County and his newest masterpiece, the double album Manipulator, is proof of just how wrong I was.

Listening to albums like Melted, Goodbye Bread, and Twins you get the feeling Ty has listened to his fair share of late-60s psych, garage, and a healthy dose of Blue Cheer, Stooges, and Black Sabbath, so when you throw on Manipulator for the first time you're instantly thrown off by the cleaned up production and locked-in grooves. The needle in the red levels of ear bleeding volume are replaced with Hunky Dory-era Bowie glam. The acoustic guitar almost seems attached to the drums as each strum accents the snare on "Tall Man Skinny Lady". It has a "Queen Bitch" vibe with Segall sporting a hell of a falsetto.
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Format: MP3 Music
I can't remember the last time I was so stoked on a rock album. Maybe the first time I heard "Bleach".... or "Nothing's Shocking".... or "Slanted and Enchanted". I would rank "Manipulator" right up there with those landmark albums.

There are riffs on here that are just insane. Take "Tall Man Skinny Lady", for example. How is it that people have been playing rock guitar for, what?, 50 years or something... and no one thought of this riff before. It's an instant classic. It's like it's always been there, somewhere out there, but yet it's completely fresh.

There really isn't a single weak track on here, not to mention that the SEQUENCING of this album is near perfect. The first half is filled with instantaneous ear worms, while the latter half is a vintage grower/slow burner. I feel compelled to listen to it from beginning to end each time, all 17 tracks worth. If I can only grab 6 songs in the car, I'll pick up from song 7 when I get home and listen to the rest. And this is coming from someone who listens almost exclusively to mixes these days.

Forget about album of the year. This is a front runner for album of the decade. Period.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Ty Segall's 2014 album, "Manipulator" is a masterpiece. It does what music is supposed to do--lead the human mind to transcend the human condition. So powerful is this album in its ability to take our minds to a place of beauty, that, earlier today, as I tried to simultaneously read news articles about violence in the Middle East and listen to "Manipulator," I literally felt my psyche pulled in two directions. When an album can lead you to feel a totally new sensation--while stone cold sober--that is some power, man.
While the album opens with 40 seconds of organ and closes with a few seconds of violin, in between "Manipulator" is dominated by Ty Segall shredding. As with the finest of musicians fusing variety and beauty to maintain our full attention, Segall wends from skilled clean acoustic to the muddiest of power garage rock guitar.
Psychedelia is mixed-in primarily through vocals--particularly backing vocals. Once again, Segall doesn't get stuck with one sound, but juxtaposes clean clear vocals and lyrics with far murkier throw-back grunge crossed with a muddy blues inspired feel.
Picking a favorite track is truly challenging, but the first one that dominated my attention was #5, "Feel." Featuring a virtuosic display of guitar playing over an African-beat rhythm, this track exemplifies the album in one track. "Green Belly" is another gem--I'm transported to California surf rock over smooth inventive riffs with a hooky melody. "Crawler" seems to have `crawled' out of the primordial altrock ooze of a Wolfmother album featuring the simultaneous power and groove of Sydney, Australia's second most famous musical export. This track is immediately follow-up by #15 "Who's Producing You?" featuring ear-pleasing psychedelic hooks and riffs.
Weighing-in at a meaty 17 tracks, I awarded ten tracks five star status. Obviously a must-buy recommendation. At Amazon MP3's current list of $8.99--less than 53 cents a track, "Manipulator" is a steal.
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This is a great rock album. It's a more lavishly produced and easily accessible than Ty's other work (I'm a big fan of all of his work).

Much of it is tinged with a bit of a 1990s sound (but retains Ty's unique spirit throughout). If you like The Stone Roses, early Oasis, The Beta Band, and early Nirvana, you'll enjoy this.

I have to say I don't care for the cover; it seems uninspired and doesn't match the great music it houses.

I bought the double vinyl and the mp3 came with it.
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