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A constant workaholic, Segall has released an album annually since 2008, however his last three Drag City releases (Goodbye Bread, Twins and Sleeper) made him a household name amongst the capricious and toffee-nosed Pitchfork elite.
After a careful sit-down with Manipulator, it’s made clear how an artist like T. Rex influenced Ty Segall. One can listen to the melancholy strings and slow build-up of the “The Singer” and hear pieces that echo the album Slider. The vocal melodies and processing on “Don’t You Wanna Know” and “Susie Thumb” scream T. Rex and for all we know (Marc Bolan and David Bowie’s producer) Tony Visconti himself could’ve been twiddling the knobs behind the mixing board for these two tunes.▼ Article continues below ▼
Segall largely manages to contrast lighter and darker shades by altering his instrumentation. Like the Brian Jonestown Massacre, he effectively uses softly strummed acoustic guitars and soulful backup vocals to counteract the massive walls of fuzz guitar steamrolling through many of his tracks. Several songs may feature loud electric guitar, but others such as “Mister Main” and “The Connection Man” brilliantly utilize tambourines, acoustic guitars and vintage sc-fi synthesizers to add diversity and space to otherwise sparse arrangements. These clever arrangements and well-proven studio techniques add polish and glitter to the mix, making sure that sonically Manipulator will not fail to disappoint.
In general, the new record is an excellent garage/psychedelic rock album for the Spotify and Pandora generation, and it’s probably Segall’s best release to date. It’s a brilliant effort and signals the start of a new era and level of maturity for the Bay Area artist.
San Francisco, CA
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