By Jamie McNamara
It’s remarkable that through 10 albums in 10 years, Ty Segall has never had an outright clunker. Sure, there are some duds contained in each album, but never has a whole album been a write-off for the garage rock legend. Unfortunately, that also means that it’s hard to call any of Segall’s albums a masterpiece.
That trend continues with Freedom’s Goblin, Ty Segall’s 10th studio album that acts as the purest distillation of Ty Segall on record yet, for better and worse.
On Freedom’s Goblin, Ty Segall has arrived at the destination his albums have been heading towards for the last five years. It’s a 19-track hodgepodge of just about every kind of guitar music you can throw fuzz on top of. There are cinematic ballads, roiling disco stomps, twangy country rock tunes, and everything in between.
It doesn’t make a lot of sense as a cohesive album, but it’s quintessential Segall. Throw everything at the wall and see what sticks. Luckily, a lot of these songs plaster themselves to the wall, but when they don’t it’s increasingly evident.
The clear highlight here is Segall’s cover of Hot Chocolate’s disco classic “Every 1’s a Winner.” Segall trades the slow-motion clavinet chug of the original for a murky bassline and sleazy funk rock. It’s an interesting direction for Segall, and it would be great to hear him explore it further. Unfortunately, the other 18 tracks included here don’t really move outside of his wheelhouse and after 10 albums, it’s hard not to feel a little disappointed with that.Ty Segall