Tomboy

Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
Buy On
  1. Apr 11, 2011
    80
    Despite Tomboy's significant changes, it feels less like a radical shift than a subtle progression; while it may not be quite as dazzling as Person Pitch, it should still please fans of that album and Lennox's many other outlets.
  2. May 19, 2011
    78
    Tomboy's an ambitious work that finds its power and grandiosity in the slightest moments – an album that demands headphones, yet equally compels to crank the stereo.
  3. Apr 8, 2011
    80
    While much here can be summarised as more of the same, when Lennox's natural quality control operates at such an admirable standard, that's precisely why Tomboy is such a chilled-out triumph.
  4. The whole thing sort of pops into existence, an idea and a testament, and instead of resolving, wistfully swoons into silence, all a dream. But maybe that's what Lennox was going for.
  5. Apr 12, 2011
    70
    Sure, Lennox makes a lot of pretty noise on this album, but sometimes you just want to pluck him from his own sound waves and have him try to navigate them from the inside of a more firmly constructed ship.
  6. Apr 26, 2011
    84
    Sometimes, in the wrong mood, Tomboy can come across as eleven great songs chipping away at each other.
  7. 90
    Whichever route you choose, one thing remains unflinching: this album is guaranteed to please.
  8. 90
    While it will inevitably be argued as to whether or not Tomboy is really a work of startling originality or perhaps just a long lost companion to Björk's Vespertine, it's hard to deny positing that we've got one of the best albums of 2011 finally in our hands.
  9. Apr 19, 2011
    80
    Here Panda retreats to inscrutable, heavenly distance, and while force of emotion might not suit an album whose foundations are laid on force of sound, I still find myself wishing he'd fully explore his more human side someday.
  10. Apr 11, 2011
    70
    I'm not sure if I'll ever be sold on his approach, but scattered moments do shine.
  11. 83
    The woozy, reverb-rich result makes for great headphone swimming (also: infant appeasement!), but Lennox is at his best with a groove to submerge.
  12. Apr 12, 2011
    88
    With Tomboy, Lennox valiantly accepts the responsibilities he once invoked on Prayer, now seeming to possess answers to some of the questions as well.
  13. Apr 13, 2011
    75
    In the end, Lennox's dueling ambitions leave Tomboy in a singular place--a strange, almost devotional record to get lost in.
  14. Mojo
    May 17, 2011
    40
    Rather than gaining urgency Tomboy instead feels rhythmically constrained and sonically muted. [May 2011, p.100]
  15. Apr 11, 2011
    60
    Tomboy once again sees Lennox creating a distinctive, hypnotic sound-world - but it sometimes feels too much like a world from which there is a strong desire to escape.
  16. 70
    It could have been so easy for an album that's strung out on the tension between artist as paid-up perma-kid and responsible grown-up to be self-indulgent and, worse still, boring. Instead it's cathartic.
  17. Apr 13, 2011
    90
    While still featuring the repetition and reverb that embodies much of Lennox's work, Tomboy is more divisible, and more accessible for a downloaded generation, or listeners looking to simply dabble their toes.
  18. Apr 29, 2011
    80
    It's really only when you find the time to sit down and listen to it all that it starts making sense. Yes, this may require some patience, but you will be rewarded.
  19. Apr 13, 2011
    71
    For the most part, Panda Bear manages to fall somewhere in between, creating a work that can be appreciated as both interesting from a compositional standpoint and enjoyable as an extension of his creative path over the past several years.
  20. Apr 11, 2011
    85
    Tomboy is a much more considered record, with thickly layered psych-style production.
  21. Apr 12, 2011
    60
    On Tomboy, he seems about half-awake, caught between the haziness of sleep and the defensiveness of waking life.
  22. Apr 11, 2011
    75
    Tomboy's best quality is its consistency with Lennox's vision, in spite of the critical hullabaloo surrounding it.
  23. Q Magazine
    May 17, 2011
    60
    Such is the electronic murk elsewhere, it feels better to dabble your toes in this record than plunge right in. [May 2011, p.120]
  24. Apr 12, 2011
    70
    Noah Lennox makes music swathed in so much synth noise, ambient voices and ricocheting stereophonic WTFs, it can feel like you're swept into a tidal wave of bong water.
  25. Apr 14, 2011
    60
    While Person Pitch rippled with punctuated sound, Tomboy is a cyclic plateau, a triumph of building algorithms that gradually add plushness and sonic density, but very little movement.
  26. Apr 8, 2011
    80
    From the stark black-and-white artwork to the sounds within, Panda Bear's fourth album scales back, proffering succinctness rather than sprawl, exchanging samplers for sequencers, in favor of added warmth and intimacy.
  27. Apr 11, 2011
    40
    Tomboy doesn't speak loud enough for us to hear it. It hums, rather; it mumbles. It actually can't speak.
  28. Apr 11, 2011
    90
    Tomboy is every bit as good as it promised to be, and more.
  29. Apr 12, 2011
    91
    Both less sunny and more accessible than Person Pitch, Tomboy is broken down into bite-sized, relatively straightforward morsels of melody buttressed by percolating polyrhythms, twinkling guitar, piano-based hooks, and Lennox's choirboy emoting.
  30. Apr 12, 2011
    88
    Tomboy is a tricked-out, big-budget epic built for IMAX.
  31. Apr 7, 2011
    80
    Even when the lyrics betray nagging anxieties, Lennox sounds joyful, illuminating the darkness of Slow Motion like shooting stars, breaking through Alsatian Darn like the sun through a storm.
  32. 60
    It's a gentle, woozy mood-scape in which nostalgia for the candyfloss summers of childhood shades imperceptibly into the sweet melancholy of encroaching autumn.
  33. Apr 11, 2011
    80
    Tomboy finds him in sustained reflection, singing sublimely about the managing of expectations. It's a deeply interior album, but with an acute awareness of the space it inhabits, and the impression it hopes to leave.
  34. The Wire
    May 3, 2011
    60
    It's impressive on the first few listens, it grows irritating with repeat play. [Apr 2011, p.57]
  35. Apr 11, 2011
    70
    Certainly, Tomboy, recorded in a dark basement in sun-soaked Lisbon, delivers its fair share of primal pleasures and sacred ecstasies.
  36. Uncut
    Apr 12, 2011
    80
    The result is a record that demands to live not in some mythologised '80s, but in the here and now. [May 2011, p.81]
  37. Apr 15, 2011
    60
    On its own, Tomboy isn't moving forward but it isn't treading water, either. Lennox performs a tricky balancing act in that sense.
User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 55 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. Apr 19, 2011
    9
    Definitely one of my favorite albums of the year so far. It sucks you into its unique sound world - I just keep going back for more. This isDefinitely one of my favorite albums of the year so far. It sucks you into its unique sound world - I just keep going back for more. This is right up there (if not better) than Person Pitch, in my opinion. Highly recommended. Full Review »
  2. May 11, 2011
    8
    Took a few listens to realise just how many great songs there are on this one. Overall though, I don't find it as memorable or versatile asTook a few listens to realise just how many great songs there are on this one. Overall though, I don't find it as memorable or versatile as Person Pitch. I get bored listening to this LP the whole way through at times because the songs have a very similar feel to them, but as individual tracks I can't fault them. Full Review »
  3. Apr 12, 2011
    9
    Tomboy arrives four years after Panda Bear's brilliant Person Pitch. Tomboy largely fulfills expectations, but some may be divided over theTomboy arrives four years after Panda Bear's brilliant Person Pitch. Tomboy largely fulfills expectations, but some may be divided over the more conventional song structures Noah Lennox uses this time. There are no sprawling jams like "Good Girl/Carrots"; "Afterburner," the longest track, clocks in at 6:50, while the other ten tracks hover around four minutes. Still, this is Panda Bear. He nails the Beach Boys layered lyrics, combing those with burbling sounds, synths, and guitars to create dreamy, unique songs. Lennox's singing is top notch - he uses his voice to swing us from moods of warmth, desolation, hope. Tomboy starts modestly and builds to a powerful finish, fluctuating with imaginative ideas throughout. Fans should be pleased over this effort; it's also one of the best of 2011 so far. RECOMMENDED TRACKS: Tomboy, Last Night at the Jetty, Afterburner Full Review »