Listening to Panda Bear's Person Pitch is sort of like deciding to go to a far off place, where Charlie Kauffman is hosting a carnival week, and on the carnival's last night in town, the Beach Boys are going to come out and perform some D- or even Z-sides from Pet Sounds. In other words, there's no reason not to go out and get it.
If I'm right, and I am, then this is the summer album of 2007.
I don't even really know what to say about it. The instrumentation is at once meditative and swirling. The lyrics are often indecipherable, but those Beach Boys harmonies are unmistakable, and you might really discover that you're listening to Brian Wilson's nephew - you know, the one who went to culinary school and got kicked out because he kept stealing Crayons to draw pictures of what his sound would look like if he were just able to get the right friendships in order to form his super group. That guy.
I was going to write that "Take Pills" is a journey to what happens when you're underwater with lots of people you love, but that doesn't make sense.
And "Bros," by far the masterpiece of the album, does the most toward wrapping you completely in the same sonic package as "I Just Wasn't Made for These Times."
To be sure, Person Pitch is nowhere near as straighforward as anything the Beach Boys put out. It's given a healthy dose of that 21st century self-referentiality. Maybe this would be a place to talk about irony, but I'm not sure how to, or what it would mean even if I did.
It's almost as if Noah Lennox thought, You know, I'll never be able to get away from a comparison to the Beach Boys, so I might as well go all the way with it. And it's true - this isn't one of those albums where the comparison to another band is questionable. This is deliberate tribute, but without sycophancy. I love it, and I think it'll go down as one of the top ten of 2007.