During the unequivocal disaster that was 2016, music became our only refuge from the storm.
Amidst the tirade of political and social events, Ty Segall’s powerful ninth album emerged, beginning 2017 with the howl of electric guitars and pounding bass drums desperately needed to shock us out of our slump. Produced by Steve Albini, the genius sound engineer behind more than 1,500 albums, it isn’t surprising that the album’s sound is both raw and engaging.
Much of the sound is reminiscent of Nirvana’s seminal In Utero (also produced by Albini himself) such as the opening track ‘Break a Guitar’ where the lyrics are almost incomprehensible and the sound is addictively noisy and stripped down. The same can be said of later tracks such as ‘Freedom’ and lead single ‘Orange Color Queen’.
The album’s most prominent strength lies in Segall’s ability to veer madly between genres. This ranges from the glam-rock undertones of ‘Talkin’’ to the Elliot Smith pop of ‘Orange Color Queen’. Clearly this album, Segall’s second self-titled work, is a showcase of his many talents as an artist and lyricist; there’s something here for all the family.
Considering Segall is someone who has released an album almost annually for the past nine years, it’s astounding that the well of creativity has not yet dried up. Instead, he has gone from strength to strength, a chameleon of modern music in an era defined by genre. The album also benefits from having been recorded with a live band, a first in Segall’s career. Overall the album feels like a consistent addition to Segall’s discography, perfectly produced with just the right amount of intense energy.
In a Nutshell: Exactly the start this year’s music needed.