“A collection of profound and epic album reviews and musical articles by former astronaut and brain surgeon, Alasdair Kennedy. Reaching levels of poetry that rival Keats and Blake, the following reviews affirm Alasdair to be a prodigy, a genius and a god whose opinion is always objectively right. He is also without a doubt the most modest man in the universe.” - Alasdair Kennedy
Review of 'Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper' by Panda Bear
A popular pastime of mine is thinking about
what it feels like to die. I'm great at parties.
Is dying scary? Is it painful? Is it pleasant? Is it
It’s been speculated by some researchers that when we finally
give up the ghost our bodies release DMT, a highly psychedelic chemical, into our
bloodstream that causes us to spend our last split-seconds of life in an
otherworldly deep hallucinatory state.
Perhaps Panda Bear has been reading up on this concept. Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper centres around the theme of death.
However, instead of going down your usual morbid, dark route, the Baltimore experimental artist seems
to paint a more kaleidoscopic picture.
The spacey Tron synths and dreamy Beach Boys vocal harmonies
that Panda Bear has incorporated in the past make a return here. On top are
more effects than ever before – lashings of reverb, phasers and loud distortion.
The focus is on creating deep, interesting textures in each song. I love a good
bit of texture in my music. Hell, I like texture outside my music too. You
should see my extensive collection of carpet samples.
I'm all about honeycomb velvet
Whilst the texture is all very impressive, the substance
underneath is slightly lacking in places. Progression seems to take a backseat
on this record with a lot of the instrumentals sticking to a rigid pattern from
the off and failing to evolve further. Once you’ve heard the first forty
seconds of one song you’ve pretty much heard it all.
Still, some tracks despite their repetitiveness, do manage
to keep the listener hooked throughout just via their texture alone. The opener, ‘Sequential Circuits’with
its sweetly layered vocal harmonies and the beautiful and
hazy harp-assisted ‘Tropic of Cancer’ are absolutely hypnotic. That’s a good
word for Panda Bear’s style, hypnotic. The distant vocals and dense repetitive instrumentals make this feel like the kind of album made for meditating too. Hang
on, let me light some incense sticks and open up my chakras and stroke some
carpet tiles whilst thinking about dying.