|Studio album by Panda Bear|
|Released||March 20, 2007|
|Panda Bear chronology|
|Singles from Person Pitch|
Person Pitch is the third solo album released by American recording artist Panda Bear (Noah Lennox), released on March 20, 2007. Largely composed using a pair of Roland SP-303 samplers, Person Pitch was a stylistic leap from Lennox's previous album, the primarily acoustic Young Prayer (2004). He described the album as "kind of sugary ... super dubby and old sounding" songs inspired by his recent marriage and fatherhood.
The album was met with universal critical acclaim, and later ranked among various "top 10 albums of the 2000s" lists. It is noted for influencing a wide range of subsequent indie music, inspiring the chillwave genre in addition to numerous soundalike acts. Five of the album's seven tracks were issued as A-sided singles before the album's release: "I'm Not", "Comfy in Nautica", "Bro's", "Carrots", and "Take Pills".
Person Pitch exhibits a much brighter sound from Lennox's previous album, Young Prayer, with Lennox himself describing the songs in advance as "super dubby and old sounding, like Motown or Buddy Holly just a little bit." Dusted Magazine attributed this to his move to Portugal. Seeing this connection and the change of atmosphere in his music; Lennox says:
A lot of the songs on Person Pitch are kind of sugary. [...] It's really mellow and sunny here [in Portugal] and I feel like the album really sounds like that to me. Also the stuff that's happened to me in the past two years, like getting married and having a kid and all that, has had a pretty profound impact on the kind of music I play and the kind of subjects I address. My approach to being a musician has drastically changed from having a kid and being a provider. It was kind of terrifying at first, I won't lie to you. It's made me feel like I don't want to fuck up, and I want to make sure I cover all my bases. And that's not to say that I suddenly want to make music that's going to sell a whole lot of copies cause I don't really think I could do that. But I want to make sure that whatever I'm doing, I'm doing it to the fullest extent that I can.
Initially, Lennox wanted to name it Perfect Pitch before settling on Person Pitch – "pitch being sound and person being a person with person pitch being a sound of a person." Mixing for the album was handled by Rusty Santos.
Artwork and release
The artwork for Person Pitch and all of the related singles were done by Agnes Montgomery. According to Lennox, "Initially I knew I wanted to do something that was really symmetrical. The album is kind of symmetrical in terms of how long the songs are, and I wanted the album art to reflect that." Included in the artwork was a long list of artists who Lennox credited with influencing him. About the decision to put this list in the booklet and the making of the artwork, Lennox said "since I was sampling so many different people I thought it was appropriate to give thanks to other musicians. I'd never really done that before ... [specific influences] was always kind of a difficult question for me to answer. So this time I was like, I'll really try to think about what I feel led me to make this kind of music and give respect to those people."
An excerpt from the album's fourth single and second track.
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Five of the seven tracks on the album were released prior to the album, some of them with different mixing and/or lengths.
- "I'm Not" and "Comfy in Nautica" were released together as a double A-side single in 2005.
- "Bro's" was released as a single on Fat Cat Records in late 2006.
- "Good Girl / Carrots" was released in early 2007 on a split 12" with the band Excepter via Animal Collective's own label Paw Tracks (on the single, the song is called, simply, "Carrots").
- "Search for Delicious" was featured in 2005 on Volume 14 of music magazine Comes With a Smile's CD compilations.
- "Take Pills" was released as a 7" single on June 19, 2007.
Despite Lennox's initial assertion that Person Pitch would be issued only on CD, it was announced shortly after its release that it would in fact be pressed on vinyl; the double LP was released on June 19.
|The A.V. Club||A−|
Person Pitch was met with almost unanimously positive reviews from music critics. On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 87, indicating "universal acclaim". Kevin O'Donnell of Rolling Stone felt that the album "proves he's a first-rate solo artist," and described the album as a marvelous, hazy trip full of Beach Boys-inspired psychedelia." Leah Greenblatt of Entertainment Weekly also noted influences from the "sunny California sound of the Beach Boys/Mamas and the Papas era" and described the album as a "lovely, trippy kaleidoscope of sound." Mark Richardson of Pitchfork felt that Noah Lennox's use of pop melodies gives Person Pitch "an appeal that extends beyond just Animal Collective fans" but that the incorporation of sampled loops and instruments in the production gives the album's songs an "unusual twist". Slant Magazine's Jonathan Keefe praised Person Pitch as "a striking, ambitious take on pop music", noting the influence of dance and electronic music techniques.
Drowned in Sound writer Richard MacFarlane complimented Lennox's "masterful" production on Person Pitch. Writing in The Observer, Simon Reynolds describe the album's sound as "tribal, ecstatic yet eerie, brimming with child-like wonder," and felt that Lennox successfully "pulls off the trick of being simultaneously poppy and abstract". Phillip Buchan of PopMatters called the album the "most sonically satisfying statement to emerge yet from the Collective", though he was less complimentary towards its lyrics, which he felt lacked a "representational capacity" to "show us anything outside our selves." Retrospectively, Fred Thomas of AllMusic credits Person Pitch as the album where "the wildly different places Lennox would take his experiments truly found a voice of their own", standing as "a perfectly executed statement for Lennox, and in at least some circles of indie rock, a musical revelation."
As of 2017, review aggregate website Acclamed Music has Person Pitch listed as the 7th best album of 2007, as well as the 349th best album of all time. The album was named the top album of 2007 by publications such as Pitchfork and Tiny Mix Tapes. The album also placed at number 13 on The Village Voice's Pazz & Jop year-end critics' poll. It also garnered praise and recognition from musicians such as Bradford Cox, The Tough Alliance, Diplo, St. Vincent, Black Dice, Christopher Bear of Grizzly Bear, Vampire Weekend, Yeasayer and Dan Snaith, all of whom ranked Person Pitch as one of the best albums of 2007 in a Pitchfork year-end survey. Pitchfork would later name Person Pitch the ninth best album of the decade. Tiny Mix Tapes named the album their 8th favorite of the decade, and wrote that "this was where dub, calypso, afrobeat, indie, noise, drone, and IDM not only intersected, but got digested by more than just a few thousand in the underground."
All tracks written by Noah Lennox.
|1.||"Comfy in Nautica"||4:04|
|6.||"Search for Delicious"||4:53|
|1.||"Comfy in Nautica"||4:04|
|2.||"Search for Delicious"||4:53|
- Basic Channel
- Wolfgang Voigt
- Cat Stevens
- The Police
- Scott Walker
- Daft Punk
- The Tornados
- The Zombies
- Erik Satie
- Jonathan Richman
- Roy Orbison
- King Tubby
- Caetano Veloso
- Black Dice
- Sam Cooke
- Pink Floyd
- The Beach Boys
- Everything but the Girl
- The Orb
- Basement Jaxx
- Vashti Bunyan
- S.E. Rogie
- Jay Dee
- Ariel Pink
- Robert Hood
- Aphex Twin
- Arthur Russell
- Tom Jobim
- The Beatles
- Michael Jackson
- Benjamin Diamond
- Syd Barrett
- Talk Talk
- Black Flag
- Hall and Oates
- Lee Perry
- Bjorn Olsson
- Chris Bell
- Kylie Minogue
- Ricardo Villalobos
- Ennio Morricone
- Louvin Brothers
- Wu-Tang Clan
- Spacemen 3
- Cyndi Lauper
- Nina Simone
- The Clientele
- Markus Guentner
- Pete Rock
- The Strokes
- Dr. Dre
- Carsten Jost
- Notorious B.I.G.
- Duran Duran
- The Chills
- Echo and the Bunnymen
- Everly Brothers
- The Free Design
- Skip Spence
- Eric B. & Rakim
- The Kinks
- George Michael
- Bob Marley
- Ghostface Killah
- Grateful Dead
- Horace Andy
- Incredible String Band
- The Equals
- Joni Mitchell
- Linda Perhacs
- Maria Callas
- Antonio Variacoes
- Harry Mudie
- Black Sabbath
- Phil Collins
- Gang Starr
- The Stooges
- New Order
- Paper Mag
- Rolling Stone
- Dot Music
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- Lennox, Noah (2007). Person Pitch (CD Liner). Panda Bear. Paw Tracks.