78.) Panda Bear - Person Pitch (2007)
The thing about Person Pitch is that it's really, really lovely. I'm sure I'm not the first person to say this, but the record reminds me of what it's like to look through a kaleidoscope. It's weird and a bit trippy, but also really beautiful in it's own singular way and Person Pitch is a very singular work. Yes, there are influences (you can't write about it without obligatorily mentioning The Beach Boys, so done) but it's the type of record that couldn't come from any other artist and on top of that it's the kind of record that you can tell almost immediately was being made and crafted by that artist alone, singularly and probably in his bedroom. Which is actually pretty amazing.
Person Pitch is hippie music updated for the 2000's. It has the familiarity of its melodies sitting side by side with more experimental soundscapes created by samples and the thing that holds it all together - Noah Lennox's (Panda Bear) lush, warm and inviting vocals. It's interesting that a record so insular in the way it was crafted could be, in its finished product, such a populace experience. I like to listen to Person Pitch on headphones and I think in some ways it's meant to be listened to that way - on account of the nuances and the thousand different things going on that you won't pick up when listening from speakers - but it oftentimes feels more like a record you should play for your friends...at a picnic...on a hill...made of grass...and probably while your high.
There's a loose feel to Person Pitch even though it's not loose at all. It's a very structured affair, but it couldn't feel any less so. This a testament to Lennox and Lennox only. The cover of the record, as well as some photos inside are very telling of Panda Bear's process. They're images cut and pasted where children are flying flowers and humans sit in an inflatable pool with bears and lions. These images reflect the theme of the record - "Well why the hell not?" It's Panda's style - whose to say disparate things don't belong together? - and he uses both the aural as well as the visual to convey his bright themes.
Buy records, people. The actual media. You can't get this shit from a computer.
Anyway, there's no discussing Person Pitch without discussing it's centerpiece - the beautiful "Bros". If Person Pitch was released and "Bros" was the only track on it, it would still be here on this list - the fact that there are other almost equally stunning songs on it is just gravy. "Bros" is the song of the decade - a kitchen sink look inside the brain of one of the most interesting artists making music today. It sounds like what crazy must sound like, but good crazy - the kind that's free and unencumbered by what's supposed to be. The kind of crazy that every now and again we all wish we were.
I'm closing this with an itunes user review of "Bros" that really sums it up best...
"If you've been good in life this is probably the song you will hear when you die."
Posted by Pat Driscoll