October 2014 National Music Reviews

Review: Ty Segall – Manipulator

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Ty Segall

Manipulator

Drag City

Street: 08.26

Ty Segall =
Ziggy Stardust–era
David Bowie +
The Beatles + Fuzz

Last year’s Sleeper was Ty Segall’s starkest and most serious release, and it showed off his virtuosity without the trademark layer of fuzz and snotty, distorted shrieks. Now, with Manipulator, Segall ditches the Marc Bolan–stranded-in-the-desert sound of Sleeper and basically rewrites ‘60s and ‘70s rock with absolute mastery. This is Bowie’s acoustic guitar strum over a rock orchestra; this is Black Sabbath playing “Taxman”; this is Led Zeppelin without any lemon squeezing. Segall has honed his songwriting, unmistakable voice and knack for killer guitar licks into something undeniably special. By the time the single piano chord rings out at the end of “Mister Main” 10 tracks into a sprawling 17—an obvious nod to “A Day in the Life”—I’ve already decided that this is my pick for album of the year. Manipulator is Segall’s fullest, most complete and most inspired record yet. This is Segall’s White Album, his Sgt. Pepper’s. –Cody Kirkland
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