|Studio album by Panda Bear|
|Released||March 20, 2007|
|Panda Bear chronology|
|Singles from Person Pitch|
Person Pitch is the third 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, it was a stylistic leap from Lennox's previous album, the primarily acoustic Young Prayer (2004). He described Person Pitch as "kind of sugary ... super dubby and old sounding" songs inspired by his recent marriage and fatherhood. The title refers to "pitch being sound and person being a person with person pitch being a sound of a person." Five of the album's seven tracks were issued as A-sided singles, all of them before the album's release: "I'm Not", "Comfy in Nautica", "Bros", "Carrots", and "Take Pills".
The album was met with universal critical acclaim, and later ranked among the top 10 albums of the 2000s in lists by Pitchfork, Tiny Mix Tapes, Stereogum, and Gorilla vs. Bear. Margaret Reyes of AllMusic noted its influence on a wide range of subsequent indie music.
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. "Bros" 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. Finally, "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.
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.
The artwork for Person Pitch and all of the related singles were done by Agnes Montgomery . 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:
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. I knew I wanted to do a lot of personal thank yous and I knew I wanted to have the artwork from all the singles on there in a symmetrical fashion. So I needed another text panel, and I also thought that 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, and I also always had trouble when people were like "who are your influences, what do you feel influenced the music on this album." I was always like, "I don't really know." I don't listen to music at home a whole lot and the stuff that I do hear is usually because of the other guys in the band, or the stuff I would hear at Other [Music, a New York City record store where Noah once worked] every day. I don't have a record player or own a whole lot of CDs or anything like that, so it 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.
- 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
|The A.V. Club||A−|
Person Pitch was met with almost unanimously positive reviews from music critics, receiving an average of score of 87, indicating "universal acclaim", on Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics. 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", drawing comparisons to Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys, but that the incorporation of sampled loops and instruments in the production gives the album's songs an "unusual twist". 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." Slant Magazine's Jonathan Keefe praised Person Pitch as "a striking, ambitious take on pop music".
Drowned in Sound writer Richard MacFarlane complimented Lennox's "masterful" production on Person Pitch, while Simon Reynolds, writing in The Observer, felt that Lennox successfully "pulls off the trick of being simultaneously poppy and abstract". Kevin O'Donnell of Rolling Stone felt that with the album, Panda Bear "proves he's a first-rate solo artist." 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."
Person Pitch was named the top album of 2007 by publications such as Pitchfork Media 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 Media year-end survey. Pitchfork would later name Person Pitch the ninth best album of the decade. Review aggregate website Acclamed Music currently has Person Pitch listed as the 7th best album of 2007, as well as the 349th best album of all time. 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|
- Paper Mag
- Rolling Stone
- Dot Music
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