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Ty Segall - Freedoms Goblin - LP -

Price per Unit (stuk): €32.95

Near the end of last year, Ty Segall put a bunch of new songs out online, which is a bit like saying water is wet. But even for a guy who has spent the last decade setting the pace for indie-rock prolificacy, releasing 20 albums and more than 30 singles and EPs, these tracks stood out. They sounded like strange one-off experiments, from the heaving hardcore of “Meaning” (featuring lead shrieking from Segall’s wife Denée) to a straight-up cover of Hot Chocolate’s 1978 disco warhorse “Every 1’s a Winner” (with guest percussion from Fred Armisen to boot). It turns out these songs weren't just a stream of orphaned outtakes. Rather, they were setting the far-flung aesthetic goalposts for Segall’s most freewheeling and free-ranging album to date, Freedom’s Goblin.

A year ago, you could’ve said the same thing about the Ty Segall album, which pit some of his most deranged material against his most unabashedly romantic, yielding the scatterbrained folk-punk/psych-jazz suite “Freedom”/”Warm Hands (Freedom Returned).” As the title suggests, Freedom’s Goblin sounds like that 12-minute epic’s evil offspring, spreading its lawlessness across an hour and a quarter. It’s Segall’s second double album to date, but the first one to truly embrace and exploit the possibilities of the four-sided medium. In essence, this is Segall’s White Album moment, a scrapbook of the singer’s many guises, along with a few new ones, too—check the sleazy drum-machine disco of “Despoiler of Cadaver” or the T. Rex-goes-to-E.-Street swoon of “My Lady’s on Fire.” Recorded piecemeal with various line-up configurations in five different cities, its most remarkable quality isn’t the whiplash-inducing, track-to-track variation—it’s that each song works as both a crucial unifying thread in the overall patchwork and as a stand-alone statement.

In marveling at the sheer volume of Segall’s discography, it’s easy to overlook his growth as a writer. He’s often slotted alongside peers like Thee Oh Sees and King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard in the pantheon of garage-rockers with exploratory impulses and little regard for traditional promo cycles. But it’s more apt to mention him in the same breath as musicians like Robert Pollard, Ted Leo, or Elliott Smith—expert melody-makers who borrow liberally from the classic-rock canon, but reshape and demystify it in their own eccentric image. And on Freedom’s Goblin, the tuneful sensibility that Segall has been nurturing since 2011’s Goodbye Bread fully blossoms into sky-high hooks and rich, resonant lyricism, all while keeping his primordial spirit intact.

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