• Record Label: Domino
  • Release Date: Jan 13, 2015
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 103 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 86 out of 103
  2. Negative: 7 out of 103
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  1. Jan 13, 2015
    9
    Undeniably the best Animal Collective-related album since Merriweather Post Pavilion. Lennox still retains his classic style of sweeping, angelic melodies, but here, the sound is much more compact, almost every track feeling like a battle between the instrumentals and vocals to drown each other out. The beats here are irresistibly trippy; "Come to Your Sense" and "Crosswords" featureUndeniably the best Animal Collective-related album since Merriweather Post Pavilion. Lennox still retains his classic style of sweeping, angelic melodies, but here, the sound is much more compact, almost every track feeling like a battle between the instrumentals and vocals to drown each other out. The beats here are irresistibly trippy; "Come to Your Sense" and "Crosswords" feature grooves that sound like they were pulled from a 2Pac album, and Lennox actually cited a number of old-school hip-hop artists as inspirations for the new album.

    My only complaints regarding the album are that, as good a vocalist as Lennox is, sometimes his voice gets lost in all the animal noises and swirling electronics, and the album is certainly not without its moments of filler. Tracks like "Davy Jones' Locker" and "Shadow of the Colossus," as short as they are, are tracks the album would be just as strong without.

    Luckily, the trippy beats, sophisticated electronics, and Lennox's keen sense of melody easily overshadow any weaknesses here.
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  2. Jan 16, 2015
    6
    On the outset, Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper presents a dense, vibrant and colourful selection of catchy synth rock and pop however with time loses steam, revealing the more repetitive and uninspiring nature of the songs. At it's best it is an enjoyable album however the amount of forgettable and dull tracks, I found, outweighed those that were good. I'd still recommend giving it aOn the outset, Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper presents a dense, vibrant and colourful selection of catchy synth rock and pop however with time loses steam, revealing the more repetitive and uninspiring nature of the songs. At it's best it is an enjoyable album however the amount of forgettable and dull tracks, I found, outweighed those that were good. I'd still recommend giving it a listen especially if you really enjoyed the two singles. Expand
  3. Feb 11, 2015
    5
    I can appreciate how intricately layered the music is, but the melodies are very repetitive and don't really go anywhere on this album I enjoy songs like Mr. Noah and Tropic of Cancer but most songs are very dull. I also wish Panda Bear had mixed his vocals higher because he sounds like a background singer on his own song.
  4. Jan 20, 2015
    2
    I can appreciate the energy that was put into this music, but it's too busy, and I hate it when I can't understand at least a little of what the frontman is singing. It's like the sound musicians make who can't write real songs...
  5. May 28, 2015
    6
    Lennox’s immersive creations have a formula that’s changed little since his debut. The pop writers and hipsters have got what’s demanded so you can leave progress and development lost somewhere in the far yonder, along with his tunes.

    He’s the man who delivers 11 melodies, none of which stick.
  6. Jan 16, 2015
    8
    To me, PBMTGR fixes pretty much every problem with AC-related projects most-MPP. The songs are a lot more straightforward & engaging, and the little productions tricks actually compliment the songwriting rather than distracting from it.

    (For my more in-depth review of the album, look up "Spin It Reviews" on YouTube.)
  7. Mar 21, 2015
    7
    Noah Lennox has created his catchiest record since Animal Collective’s 2009 cult classic Merriweather Post Pavilion—Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper exercises experimentation, hypnotic hooks, and some of Lennox’s shortest song lengths he’s ever recorded to make mostly solid psychedelic pop gems that’ll ingrain themselves into your brain, with or without your consent. Particularly “Mr.Noah Lennox has created his catchiest record since Animal Collective’s 2009 cult classic Merriweather Post Pavilion—Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper exercises experimentation, hypnotic hooks, and some of Lennox’s shortest song lengths he’s ever recorded to make mostly solid psychedelic pop gems that’ll ingrain themselves into your brain, with or without your consent. Particularly “Mr. Noah”, it’s a highlight that starts out in distorted eerie moans that transition into Lennox’s center aye-aye-aye hook that’ll have you singing for days. It’s not his most memorable entry to date, but it doesn’t disappoint once you realize Grim Reaper is practically its own universe in comparison to his previous projects.

    Overall rating: 7.7
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  8. Jan 18, 2015
    3
    I wanted to enjoy it. I can appreciate how intricately layered the songs are, but the melodies are severely repetitive. Mr Noah is by far my favorite track, and I would still only give that one a 6/10.
  9. Jan 20, 2015
    7
    I just recently discovered the genius of Animal Collective's Merriweather Post Pavilion, and so hearing about a solo album by a co-founder, I was quite excited. Also Panda Bear certainly knows what he's doing with this record, he overuses a very specific, watery effect in almost every song, and to an extent loses the catchy-ness of Animal Collective. He delivers an interesting album, whichI just recently discovered the genius of Animal Collective's Merriweather Post Pavilion, and so hearing about a solo album by a co-founder, I was quite excited. Also Panda Bear certainly knows what he's doing with this record, he overuses a very specific, watery effect in almost every song, and to an extent loses the catchy-ness of Animal Collective. He delivers an interesting album, which I will listen to a few more times before forming a full opinion, but this is my first reaction. Expand
  10. Jan 23, 2015
    10
    Superb , fantastic melodies under the pulsing whoozing beats . Noah is an original and extremely talented artist in his own right.

    'Boys Latin' - Ear worm alert , WOW

    To be honest I haven't heard anything as good and I adore this 'genre ' :)
  11. Apr 28, 2015
    10
    Fantastic album. Great textures, great harmonies, touching lyrics...nobody in the game can do what Noah does here...they may try, but they keep failing.
    You might not like it or think that it is overrated...but the honesty that you find here...no other artist will give it to you.
  12. Sep 23, 2015
    10
    It's worth to give it a try, it's beautiful! I like that Noah Lennox takes some risks in his albums, his capacity to experiment is absolutely impressive.
  13. Jan 6, 2016
    9
    A great listen with multiple layers. May take a couple of listens to appreciate but is worth the effort. Noah Lennox produces music you can get lost in.

    Stand out tracks for me are Mr Noah, Crosswords and Boys Latin but to truly appreciate the quality of music on offer take time to listen to the album in full. If you like what you hear there is a fantastic back catalogue to enjoy
    A great listen with multiple layers. May take a couple of listens to appreciate but is worth the effort. Noah Lennox produces music you can get lost in.

    Stand out tracks for me are Mr Noah, Crosswords and Boys Latin but to truly appreciate the quality of music on offer take time to listen to the album in full.

    If you like what you hear there is a fantastic back catalogue to enjoy from the artist including his band Animal Collective.
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  14. Apr 24, 2018
    9
    Unlike Animal Collective's tendency to hit-or-miss, Noah on his own delivers every time
Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. The Wire
    Mar 4, 2015
    80
    Lennox is an innovator and a stylist, impossible to accurately imitate or easily dismiss. [Feb 2015, p.50]
  2. Magnet
    Feb 20, 2015
    85
    Grim Reaper shows that Lennox has bigger things on his mind than mere crowd-pleasing. [No. 117, p.59]
  3. Jan 29, 2015
    80
    Panda Bear’s fourth full-length is a mature album of peace and reckoning, one that weaves ghostly textures, plumbs watery depths, but ultimately happens on something comforting and tranquil.