THE GRADE B+
BOTTOM LINE Reconstructing ’70s rock in his own fuzzy image
Few albums need a copyright date as much as Ty Segall’s “Ty Segall” (Drag City) album. Without one, people would be hard-pressed to find reasons to place this album in 2017 rather than 1977 or earlier — though Segall probably wouldn’t mind that at all.
For his second eponymous album, Segall and friends mine all sorts of ’70s rock genres for inspiration. The first single, “Orange Color Queen” calls to mind the stateliness of David Bowie in his early glam rock days, a mood matched on the ambitious “Papers,” which bounces between experimental verses and a warm, catchy chorus.
“The Only One” channels The Beatles at their edgiest, with Segall howling like a furious Paul McCartney as he demands “What are you waiting for?” over Emmett Kelly’s howling guitar. On “Take Care (To Comb Your Hair),” Segall teams with longtime collaborator Mikal Cronin, an impressive singer-songwriter in his own right, to conjure up a mix of The Kinks and T. Rex. And it’s what makes “Ty Segall” so compelling.
Even though Segall trades in sounds we have heard for decades, he, along with producer Steve Albini, has rearranged them into something completely unexpected.