No matter how much they strip away the occasional debris that clutters their records, the members of Animal Collective, together and solo, can't help but sound a bit pretentious. Noah Lennox's fourth album as Panda Bear streamlines the sounds and textures of Animal Collective's 2009 masterpiece Merriweather Post Pavilion and finds restless comfort in the grooves. Unlike Panda Bear's 2007 release, Person Pitch, Tomboy holds back a little on the overstuffed tiers of noise, for a more inviting album. On the opening "You Can Count on Me," Lennox underlines his layered harmonies with crawling handclaps. And "Last Night at the Jetty" is a playful, leisurely stroll. Elsewhere, synths, guitars, reverb, and pounding percussion steer Tomboy toward a sharper sense of melodic bliss. — Gallucci
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