There are few rock performers as ridiculously prolific as California garage rocker Ty Segall, and even fewer whose quality level is as consistently high. In the last few years, Segall has been taking advantage of his popularity to crank out as many tunes as he can, usually writing and recording them very quickly and cheaply.
However, he spent more than a year working on this epic double album, and the effort definitely shows. Without changing his trademark sound too much, Segall's tightened his songcraft and refined his recording techniques beyond the rough lo-fi garage rock approach he built his name on.
His previous records were defined by immediate punk urgency. Manipulator has much less punk than his early work - a trajectory you could see developing for a while. Instead, he's found more common ground with classic glam rock and psychedelic pop, delivered with his trademark bratty edge. Even the string section and the funky breakdowns haven't diluted his potent brand of rock 'n' roll intensity.
Top track: It's Over
Ty Segall plays the Danforth Music Hall September 21. Stream Manipulator here on NPR.