Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Ty Segall Close To A Masterpiece

Not many artists are as active and productive as Ty Segall. The number of records, singles and music the man is releasing as himself, one of his alter egos or his many collaborations, makes you wonder about his night's rest. You would think he may be choosing quantity over quality, but the constant flow of music never disappoints. Manipulator is his seventh solo album and is definitely not his least.

Ty Segall - Manipulator

On this record Segall doesn't hold back in any way. He's going from garage rock, to glam rock, from britpop to hardrock. And with seventeen songs, just short of an hour of music, length wise he's not pacing himself either. It results in a sum up of everything he stands for, every piece of music he ever recorded and includes all the music that inspired him. The production is prolific with strings scattered around like in 'The Clock'.

And so we can hear plenty of Bowie on 'The Faker' that even echoes a bit of 'The Jean Genie'. 'Feel' has a big hardrock riff that keeps growing throughout the song, packing plenty of Zeppelin. T-Rex is never far away in a glam rock piece like 'Who's Producing You?' and there are Beatles references all over. Fans of his garage sound, don't need to worry, since most songs also have a garage rock edge to it, like 'Tall Man Skinny Lady'.

You do wonder if he shouldn't have left some songs out, cut it back to ten, maybe twelve songs, which could have made it more compact, more coherent and could have turned the album into an instant classic. On the other hand it does show all Segall's pretty colours, without holding back. He's dusting off classic rock in his own way and on his own terms, letting it shine more than ever. Maybe because of all the variation and lack of focus it doesn't turn Manipulator into an absolute masterpiece, but it's a damn fine album nevertheless.

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