Album Review: Ty Segall - Freedom's Goblin

Album Review: Ty Segall - Freedom's Goblin

By Ian Bremner /

“The Freedom Band” (his band). “Freedom’s Goblin” (his new album). “I’m Free” (a song from said album.) There is a constant theme throughout Ty Segall’s latest effort - freedom.

Freedom’s Goblin is a 19-track, 75-minute, double LP from Orange County’s most musically restless son. Ty Segall is on about a one-record-per-year schedule these days, which would be a lot to ask for most other artists, but is actually a much slower pace than in years past for him. Perhaps that is the reason he could not resist packing this new record full of every artistic urge he had. The Freedom Band, which includes Mikal Cronin, The Cairo Gang’s Emmett Kelley, and Charles Moothart, all with impressive solo résumés in their own right, contribute equally to the eclectic goblin-y sounds. Cronin lends his saxophone talents on multiple songs, adding new layers and a sunny-pop flavor.

Despite just turning 30, Segall’s extensive historical output allows the listener to hear his maturity and evolution more clearly than with most artists. Sound, both noisy and melodic, is still at the forefront of everything he does, but recently there is a noticeably stronger emphasis on songwriting. Tunes like "Rain," "Cry Cry Cry," and "My Lady’s On Fire" showcase the mellower side of Ty, whereas "Alta," "Meaning," and "5 Ft Tall" still possess that signature fuzz and raucousness.

There's no shortage of experimentation and, well, freedom on Freedom's Goblin. Here, Segall covers "Every 1’s A Winner," the 1978 funk jam from Hot Chocolate, "Despoiler of Cadaver" sounds like it could be off a Prince or Talking Heads record, and the deep pulsing groove of "She" will excite Black Sabbath fans. Yet it all blends together beautifully.

An hour and change later, the last track is a re-work of his own song, "Sleeper." Retitled as "And, Goodnight", Ty turns his sleepy acoustic song into a winding, plugged-in, 12-minute screamer, in what is a near-perfect representation of the freedom and whimsical nature of Freedom’s Goblin.