ALBUM REVIEW: Ty Segall Finds a New Flavor on ‘First Taste’

Ty’s latest drags you through a minefield of sounds—with surprisingly little guitar.

To be honest, I wasn’t that impressed with my first taste of Ty Segall’s newest album, First Taste. But after giving it a few more listens, it really grew on me. 

Right from the start there are a lot of new sounds from the prolific garage/psych/punk rocker, with surprisingly little of his signature fuzzed-out guitar. You hear elements of folk and prog, and the whole thing sounds much more produced than the typical Ty record. Opening track, “The Taste,” exemplifies his playground-like approach to trying out various instruments.

What I really dig about Ty Segall is that he has so many ideas soundwise. It’s a mystery what’s going on inside his head, but when he decides to freak out with a flute, like he does on “Whatever,” it somehow works. It’s a world of controlled chaos that ends up in harmony. 

Almost entirely acapella, “Ice Plant” is a gospel-like pop song, with a chorus so catchy that you can picture the whole crowd singing along at future live shows. It ends with a beautiful piano and flips over into the super up-tempo track “The Fall” for the perfect contrast.  

The blend of prog, folk and percussion on First Taste gives it a bit of a ‘70s vibe, with a tune like “I Sing Them” sounding like The Beatles meets T. Rex meets Jethro Tull. A song like ”Lone Cowboy” just makes me wanna go back in time to California in 1969 and join a cult. 

The saturated production might be a little too much for me, but maybe that’s what drives this record. I love the fact that Ty is constantly playing around with new sounds, and yet there’s no doubt this is a Ty Segall album. 

Score: 👅👅👅👅/5

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