Ty Segall – Manipulator
One month of studio time with producer Chris Woodhouse ( who also produced Thee Oh Sees and !!! and Wild Flag) means a lot to quick and busy bee Ty Segall. It resulted in his first double album, a powerful compilation of 17 songs that put together everything likeable about the highly productive musician in one hour playing time.
Catchy melodies, fuzzy psychedelia and a lot of references of rock’n’roll
I do not want to list the influencers from early 60s until late 90s’ psychedelic, garage, punk and noise rock that many music critics can’t resist to include in their reviews. I want to mention that it’s in fact an indication for great virtuosity to effortlessly put together everything that was good and will remain good like Ty Segall.
And isn’t this something new, actually something truly postmodernist? Anyhow it seems the production upgraded to somewhat more sophisticated elements like string arrangements, organs and doesn’t this sound like a synthesizer in “The Connection Man”? that harmonize with the rest as if they had always been in there somewhere.
Well produced and well composed
It’s true to say that Ty Segall does not reinvent the wheel with his new release and probably never did, but who of his contemporaries is able to add something new to the history of rock anyways? What counts for the greatness of this release is his personal mix of influences, a well-done production and really good compositions that impress with catchiness at first listen. Did I mention catchy three times in only three paragraphs? Yes, his falsetto is staying in your head, the boldly distorted guitar riffs as in “The Crawler”, too.
The favourites at first, second and third listen are upbeat “The Clock” with its poppy strings and falsetto chorus, the organ riffed opener “Manipulator”, the elegiac retro-sounding “The Singer” with its bluesy guitar solo, “Feel” the psychedelic garage piece that gets noisy in the end, same as its follow-up “It’s Over”. My bold super hits are “The Connection Man”, followed by “Who Is Producing You” and “The Crawler” and of course “Susie Thumb” for their cocky noisy guitar riffs. The more laid back pieces like “Mister Main” and “Green Belly” without great explosions” and the mostly acoustic “The Hand” ,”Don’t You Want To Know” and “Stick Around” sound less significant.
All together less garage-punk and more psychedelic rock, rather trippy than destructive – not bad for the last lazy summer days!