When Noah Lennox
put out Person Pitch in 2007,
listeners were dragged to ’60s surfaris; guitars amorphous as deep-sea
cephalopods, ocean-spray percussion, and myriad samples between. Throughout the
interim Animal Collective releases, Lennox has nurtured his newest vocal style –
all adjectives synonymous with “soaring” – and it’s no surprise he’s still
infatuated with it on Tomboy.
stripped-down in terms of sampling, each song is still heavily doused in
reverb: the formula remains cosmically sweet on “Surfer’s Hymn,” which seems to
tumble down a train-track of marimbas, and “Last Night at the Jetty,” a kind of
doe-eyed dancing partner for A.C.’s “Chores.” Other tracks are more experimental,
with tinny beats (hip-hoppy here; ’90s trancelike there) and RSI-inducing
chippered guitars, but that voice remains. Tomboy is simpler and more tangible than earlier output, but at the cost of variety.
My kingdom for just one unadulterated vocal, a classic yelp or gurgle, to
inject the solo sound with the band’s, and not, as it has been, vice versa.
DOWNLOAD: “You Can Count on Me,” “Last Night at the Jetty” MERYL TRUSSLER