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Person Pitch

4.3 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 9, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Animal Collective member Panda Bear (a.k.a. Noah Lennox) boldly returns with his long-awaited third solo record Person Pitch. Years in the making, Person Pitch marks a dramatic departure from Panda Bear's previous solo record Young Prayer. The acoustic instruments of Young Prayer have been replaced with samplers and electronics.

Fusing Panda's dramatic life changes over the past few years (marriage, moving to Lisbon, becoming a father) with his ever-increasing sonic palette (standouts include Caetano Veloso, Berlin Techno, Scott Walker, and Kylie Minogue), Person Pitch is suffused with the kind of feel good modern toe-tapping pop that seems harder and harder to find these days.

Paw Tracks feels that the passing of time will show Panda Bear's Person Pitch sitting alongside the great solo albums of Paul McCartney, George Michael, and Ghostface Killah. Luckily we don't have to wait.

As a member of the acclaimed Animal Collective, Noah Lennox (a.k.a. Panda Bear) has for years been making music that mixes experimental structures with a pure '60s pop sensibility. On his second solo album of looped and layered experimental post-pop, he shows considerable skill in crafting songs that retain the essence of psychedelia while having been crafted with loop-based home recording methods. The album's finest moment has to be "Bros," a slowly percolating and unapologetically lovely twelve-and-a-half-minute song. Like Brian Wilson lost in a K-hole, gorgeous harmonies soaked in echo bump up against each other until they reach a rhythmic, fascinating crescendo. Elsewhere, Panda Bear's music tends toward the same effect a tad too much, often without the same transcendent quality. Person Pitch has fabulous moments aplenty, though (as with Captain Beefheart's 1968 Strictly Personal) one does wish that fewer reverb-soaked vocals were used, or that they were used even further, pushed into complete abstract dissociation. --Mike McGonigal

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Comfy in Nautica
  2. Take Pills
  3. Bros
  4. I'm Not
  5. Good Girl
  6. Carrots
  7. Search for Delicious
  8. Ponytail

Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 9, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Paw Tracks
  • ASIN: B000NA27TE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,235 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Alma LaCroix on March 29, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Like another reviewer on here, I was not all that impressed with Panda Bear's first solo record, Young Prayer. It was overly simple and lo-fi. There's not much that I can say about it that hasn't been said before. However, with Person Pitch, Panda Bear has created an amazing audio tapestry of hazy samples and sun-drenched guitarscapes. If I had to reduce this review to as few words as possible, I would say this: Fennesz's Endless Summer meets the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds in Animal Collective's basement. I hesitate to mention AC here but this album is definitely reminiscent of the more melodic parts of Feels. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this is more accessible on the first listen than any AC release.

There are only 7 tracks here, but there is no filler on the album and two of the tracks exceed the 10-minute mark. It opens with Comfy In Nautica - a repeated choral loop on top of simple 1-2-3-4 factory-noise percussion that floats underneath Noah's (Panda's real name) nostalgic singing. The next track, Take Pills, reminds me of Banshee Beat from Feels in that it begins slow and lurching but becomes upbeat about 3 minutes into it. "I don't want for us to take pills anymore..." is the catchy refrain to this one. Next comes Bros, the album's centerpiece. It starts with the sound of an owl hooting, but jumps into the melody very quickly. It desolves into lovely, hazy AC territory about halfway through, and the owl comes back for some background vocal work.

There are four other tracks that come next. I'm not going to try to go through each of them here, mostly because I fear my adjectives will become redundant. But if you enjoy the first three tracks, you're most likely going to enjoy the last four.
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Format: Audio CD
Panda Bear's Person Pitch is proof positive why it's necessary for Animal Collective to remain a "collective" rather than a permanent band: the members just have too many ideas. Granted, they leapfrogged from style to style on each of their albums anyway, but Animal Collective drummer Panda Bear's latest sounds like the work of one man making music on his own terms, and reflects his own current state of mind. See, Panda Bear (Noah Lennox) just moved to ultra-laid-back Lisbon, and sure enough, Person Pitch sounds like the Beach Boys' California love filtered through a strange exoticism that's easy to associate with a place like Portugal. It retains Animal Collective's ebullient, idealistic attitude, but it's more low-key and atmospheric: quiet drum machines and plinked instruments awash in a psychedelic cloud. And, as you would expect from an animal in the Collective, the vocals are treated in wonderfully creative ways; the fact that Panda Bear sounds uncannily like Brian Wilson is just a really big bonus.
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Format: Audio CD
Listening to this album as an Animal Collective fan, I was surprised by this album. Of course, I was expecting it to be a mind-bending and experimental album. However, I did not expect that it would be on of the best albums I'd heard in the contemporary music scene. It is the absolute apex of mixing jarring experimentalism with shiny 60's pop melodies. Brian Wilson on a ketamine bender: that's more or less the best way to describe it. Absolutely perfect, not a wasted moment on this album. Essential listening for anyone even mildly interested.
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Format: Audio CD
In 2009, Merriweather Post Pavilion by Animal Collective is lauded as an instant classic, praised for it's brilliance in bringing the AC sound full circle. But even better than that record is their co-singer Noah Lennox's (better known as Panda Bear) solo record from 2007, Person Pitch. In fact, this is the music that paved the way for MPP, with its experimental, yet listenable quality, its genius use of samplers, and its brilliant vocal melodies. Now, don't get turned off by the sampler part, because Panda Bear uses samples much different than any artist I've ever heard. If you look at the youtube video called "samples used by panda bear on person pitch", you'll clearly see that Panda Bear took parts from these songs (which range from 50's rock n roll to folk to electronic to medieval choral pieces) and uses them dynamically and writes a whole new song over them. while making it the main instrumental part of the song. It's more complicated than it sounds. Much more. This album could've been a disaster, and to some, it might be. To me the record has some of the most original music out there, and is one of the most enjoyable. From the 12 minute epics Bros and Good Girl/Carrots, to the fun stomp of Take Pills, to my personal favorite I'm Not. In fact, all 7 songs on here are brilliant. This was easily the best record of 2007, but since I'm just getting around to reviewing it as the decade is at a close, I will say that this is one of my favorite musical feats of the decade.
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Format: MP3 Music
An album of this standing, if ever, rarely comes along. Animal Collective's Noah Lennox furthers his alter role as Panda Bear and boy are we ever glad he did. Call it experimental, far-outlandish or even psychedelic if you will. The sheer truth is that "Person Pitch" is genius. Intoxicating and optimistic, it's almost spiritual! Maybe Portugal had some something to do with (Noah now resides in Libson, Portugal with his wife and daughter) who knows? What we do know is that the album is full of subtle surprises that reveal themselves with every listen; typical of Animal Collective, I know. But "Person Pitch" is truly in a class of it's own. Simply put, this is one of the most beautiful, personal, special, good-spirited, healthy, invigorating, enchanting, exhilarating, carefully crafted albums of all time.
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