Posted on August 25th, 2014 (12:00 pm) by Andy Belt

For the past six years, prolific Bay Area garage rocker Ty Segall has annually released formidable solo albums, firmly establishing himself as one of the primary figures of the west coast rock scene. That’s not even including his collaborative efforts or the time he spends with his other projects including Fuzz, quite impressive for a rocker who’s only 27 years of age. Manipulator, Segall’s latest and lengthiest solo outing to date, has an unmistakable ‘60s psych-rock influence and at times the singer even sounds like John Lennon (this is a wonderful thing). But it’s Segall’s urgency (and heavily distorted guitars) that give this album a modern pulse and make it relevant in 2014.

Though Segall is capable of playing most of your typical rock instruments, on Manipulator, a heavy weight is placed on the guitar. Contrary to his previous solo effort, Sleeper, which found him scaling back the garage-y aggressiveness; he’s brought back his rock edge. Segall is unafraid to bust out a blistering six-string solo, especially on tracks like the tumbling “It’s Over” or above the fuzzy guitar crunch of “The Crawler.”

Even when Segall slows down the pace and dials back the distortion, these songs never drag their feet. Beatles-influenced “The Singer” comes equipped with a string section and Segall harmonizes with his own voice to great effect. It’s a song you might hear during a slow dance at a ‘60s prom, if a prankster poured liquid LSD into the punch bowl.

At an oversized seventeen tracks and between all the shuffling drums and riffs, it’s near impossible for some of Manipulator not to blend. Compared to Segall’s typical less-is-more aesthetic on past albums, this is an odyssey. This choice to maximize his output might lose some casual listeners, but devotees of the artist will more than likely be able to sit through this offering without a single complaint.

Another year, another Ty Segall album. As per usual, this workhorse of a musician doesn’t disappoint. The sunny Manipulator is perfect for a summer drive while feeling the breeze in your hair and blaring these guitar jams. Even if you don’t find yourself gravitating toward this record, we’ll more than likely have a new one next year.

Track List:

  1. Manipulator
  2. Tall Man, Skinny Lady
  3. The Singer
  4. It's Over
  5. Feel
  6. The Faker
  7. The Clock
  8. Green Belly
  9. Connection Man
  10. Mister Main
  11. The Hand
  12. Susie Thumb
  13. Don't You Want To Know? (Sue)
  14. The Crawler
  15. Who's Producing You?
  16. The Feels
  17. Stick Around
Ty Segall: Manipulator
Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

Our Rating

72 / 100
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