Hardly anything is said about Ty Segall without mentioning his productivity, and for good reason. With his one solo-album-per-year schedule and a myriad of side projects, collaborative LPs, one-off singles and EPs every year, plus producing local garage rock acts and running his own label, Segall keeps himself busy.
‘Manipulator’ is his seventh album and follows last year’s odd-one-out acoustic solo album ‘Sleeper’ and the proto-metal side-project FUZZ. Stretching over seventeen tracks, ‘Manipulator’ feels like something of a Ty Segall greatest hits, but with all new music. Rather than dividing his attention and songwriting between different genres and projects, he’s thrown everything into the blender here, offering up garage rock, folky numbers, proto-metal, glam rock and sixties pop.
As usual Segall takes his cues from the sixties and seventies with T. Rex, The Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath and The Beatles all obvious reference points. While it might seem as if Segall is on his own private crusade to turn back time forty-five years for him this is as current and relevant as can be. Rather than aping the past he’s shaping it into his own version of today, giving it a genuine feel that shines through every aspect of the record.
‘Manipulator’ finds Ty Segall drawing near the ten-year anniversary of his musical career and he seems to be in a comfortable place, confident and secure in his skills and his niche. While ‘Manipulator’ lacks the lo-fi charm of his early solo material, Segall’s grown immensely as a songwriter since 2008, with a much wider range and skill while still being able to turn in a pure garage rock belter when he wants to. Picking favourites out of Segall’s catalogue is purely a matter of taste but ‘Manipulator’ settles right in with his finest work, and will serve as an excellent entry point for newcomers to the weird world of Ty Segall.
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An album steeped in killer rhythms.
He’ll be playing albums in full.
It’s not Ty’s version of the song - it’s him exploring the collective psyche of each track and re-assembling them.
There’s much to savour here, and plenty to pass on as well.