Wednesday, January 24, 2018

You Say All The Nice Things: A Quick Review Of The New Album From Ty Segall

There is simply no stopping Ty Segall at this point. He is very nearly entering into a Robert Pollard prolific-sort of territory with the wealth of material he's intent on releasing. His newest record, Freedom's Goblin, is out on Friday on Drag City. That it is perhaps his finest record to date is not hyperbole as this double-album is positively stuffed with goodness, even when accounting for a near-quarter-hour jam that closes the record.

Freedom's Goblin succeeds as much as it does simply for the ease with which Segall has this time out harnessed all the parts of his delivery in the service of remarkably strong songs. It is, in a way, his Daydream Nation. And if that means that parts of this are a bit messy, and sprawling, then that's true too.

On numbers like "Rain" and "Cry Cry Cry" Segall lets forth melodies that are lovely and beautiful, with nods in the directions of Lennon and Bowie throughout. That the melodies are not buried in feedback and fuzzy rock bits is what elevates many of the compositions on Freedom's Goblin in my estimation. There is -- even given the length of this record -- a refinement here that suggests Ty is more in control of his strengths than ever before. Even as numbers like "You Say All The Nice Things" and "My Lady's On Fire" echo bits from the back-catalogs of both T. Rex and Syd Barrett, the cuts seem less indulgent than similar ones on earlier Segall releases, more precise in their weirdness, if you will. Elsewhere, a funky-and-odd cover of a Hot Chocolate nugget succeeds and pushes the release forward without derailing things, while "I'm Free" sees Segall try as hard as he can to sound more like Brian Jones than Bolan for once, with a listener impressed at how wonderful the end-result is. Near the end of the record, the peppy "5 Ft. Tall" burns through about a dozen familiar tricks from the Ty Segall trick-bag, and, rather than feel routine, the song feels transcendent, the sound of Segall harnessing so many things and fully maturing into his powers as a pop wizard. Even as the epic "And Goodnight" closes Freedom's Goblin as one might expect -- in a monster freak-out -- Segall seems to have earned these dozen moments of indulgence.

Freedom's Goblin is, despite its length, so sharp and focused that I'm even more impressed with Segall than I was a few years ago. It used to feel as if Ty was returning too frequently to the same handful of records for his inspiration, but here he's seemingly digested them and moved forward. Sure, there are noise-y bits here, bits that are just awash in feedback, but, for the most part, Freedom's Goblin is about Ty Segall and his abilities as a craftsman of songs. For a guy who I thought couldn't surprise me anymore, color me surprised, downright amazed at how much I thoroughly loved Freedom's Goblin.

Freedom's Goblin is out on Friday via Drag City. More details on Ty Segall via his Facebook page.

[Photo: Denee Segall]