Panda Bear – Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper (Review)


The start of 2015 means a new me and also new music, and this year started off right with Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper, the newest release from electronic artist and member of Animal Collective, Panda Bear. After generating a ton of hype through the internet and music blogs, Panda Bear does not disappoint. With Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper, Noah Lennox has found nirvana in the balance between experimental music that sounds like white noise, and the kind that we listen to with fascination. He mixes pop tones that make the songs catchy, but doesn’t stray from the strange sounds that are distinct to his sound.

The first single off the album, “Boys Latin”, has lot of textural background and Lennox’s heavily reverbed voice makes him sound sort of celestial. It does tend to drone on for a while with the repetition of unintelligible lyrics, but if you’re a fan of Panda Bear or Animal Collective you’ll recognize and enjoy this style of music. Songs like “Acid Wash” and “Come To Your Senses” are examples of what I mean by “poppy” because they have the beats that are dance worthy. “Acid Wash”’s harmonies showcase Panda Bear’s amazing talent as a singer and sounds like a church choir performing in a space shuttle due to the cosmic samples he uses on in the background. I immediately recognized the use of Claude DeBussy’s beautiful piano song “Arabesque No. 1” in Panda’s track “Lonely Wanderer.” It’s a very moving slow song to contrast the other fast tempo tracks, and if you are able to catch the lyrics they’re rather melancholic; “If you look back/would you look back?/Was it worthwhile?”

The songs from the album I mention are just the tip of the iceberg that is Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper. It is a beautiful work of art, and it really should be listened to as such. If you liked Animal Collective’s popular album Merriweather Post Pavilion, I suggest you give this album a listen, and try to listen to it from start to finish to experience its full imaginative potential. You’ll be brought through a psychedelic loop with this album and you’ll come back ready to start 2015 on a good beat.

Rating: WPGU

Highlights: Boys Latin, Lonely Wanderer, Principe Real

About Emma Kelley

I'm a junior in Global Studies. If you can't find me at Kam's or sitting in a Starbucks watching Netflix, I'm most likely sitting in my room learning Ukulele tabs to top radio hits. Music is a passion of mine, and my nickname is "The Human Jukebox."

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