It's true that Ty Segall's fifth solo album, Goodbye Bread, is nowhere near as dirty, loud, or brutally brilliant as Melted. But it's not really supposed to be. It defies brilliance in a different way and no one ought to expect less from Segall.
After all, Segall has never stayed in the same place for too long since he began his recording career. He's always made it a point of being "part time" in various underground bands (The Traditional Fools, Epsilons, Party Fowl, Sic Alps, and The Perverts, among them). No one expected his solo career to be any different.
Goodbye Bread is a much mellower and even handed album that might give the impression Segall was holding back. I hear something different. There's a quiet restraint to the album, with a little more attention to the harmonic details. He's also more relaxed, making the entire album sound like the after party attached to Melted.
Goodbye Bread plays like a relaxed event in your neighbor's storage shed.
The tempo is slow. The lyrics are reflective. The mood is mellow. The structure is steady within every song and across the entire album, smoldering at a much slower pace. And all of it fits in nicely as a variance when you consider his full career.
"I felt like people would expect me to get rougher, fuzzier, and do the same thing," says Segall. "That's no fun for me. I always wanted to make a classic sounding record, and that's what I was trying to do."
Remarkably enough, Segall feels better about this album than any previous outing. He wanted to say something as opposed to making a straight-up party album, which also underscores the most noticeable difference on Goodbye Bread — the vocals are turned up against the backdrop of crisp and clean instrumentals.
As good as Goodbye Bread is, the best track on the album is You Make The Sun Fry, which is a beautifully sun-baked love story that spirals back and forth between wanting commitment and wanting to be free from the constraints of it.
You Make The Sun Fry isn't the only single with heady introspective artistry. My Head Explodes trips between imagery and reality and has several amped up moments in between the near testimonial. The contrasts continue with California's collision between introversion and exteriors. A Comfortable Home splits up the emphasis between being together and buying to stay together.
The latter is especially poignant as Segall manages to construct the story in remarkably few words. I Can't Feel It does much the same: Flying without being able to feel it; changing for other people.
It's when you really listen to the lyrics that the entire album becomes something remarkable for Segall, and very possibly the best songwriting of his career (even if we like his rough and tough stuff too). Even if the album plays better intermixed with his other work, there isn't a song on the 10-track Goodbye Bread that you'll want to miss.
Goodbye Bread By Ty Segall Embraces A 9.2 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale.
It's anyone's guess why Drag City sat Goodbye Bread on the sidelines since January when it was finished, but that hardly matters when you're listening to classically complex songs like I Am With You. Keep an eye out for upcoming concerts. Segall is known for his amazing one-man shows, but readily admits it's often more fun playing with the band. We'll take it either way.
Goodbye Bread by Ty Segall is up on iTunes. You can also pick up the album at Barnes & Noble or find Goodbye Bread on Amazon.