Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper

Panda Bear - Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper
Critic Score
Based on 39 reviews
2015 Ratings: #94 / 985
User Score
Based on 552 ratings
2015 Ratings: #172
Liked by 8 people
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Striking a balance between hypnotic pop and cloudy soul-searching, the album delivers all the ends of the spectrum Lennox has spent years perfecting, giving fully realized and refreshingly jubilant examples of a type of pop music so distinctive to its creator, he ends up in a class by himself.

By immersing himself even deeper into the world of dub music and its equally minimalist and maximalist tones and tropes, Grim Reaper sounds stronger than anything he's accomplished so far.

Loud and Quiet

It may well be his best yet. It’s certainly his most interesting.


More streamlined than Person Pitch and more rhythmically robust than Tomboy, Grim Reaper is Panda Bear’s toughest, grimiest, and funkiest album to date.

The 405

Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper is not the private masterpiece that Person Pitch turned out to be, but it might be the final triumphant salute to an unforgettable chapter in Lennox's career.

Under The Radar

From its bubbling textures to its soaring vocals to its skittering beats to its careful sampling/instrumentation, Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper serves as a fine reminder that Lennox remains one of music's most gifted melodists.

Not only does Panda Bear wipe away any fears of having lost his creative juices on his latest LP, he also has made one of his most widely appealing and accessible works yet.
Northern Transmissions

Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper is steeped in melody and emotion, and challenges the listener without alienating them. Mark this another consistently good entry into Lennox’s catalogue.

Resident Advisor

Across the album's 13 tracks, Lennox combines the sample-based psychedelia of his past efforts with stark songcraft and swampy electronic backdrops that reach back to Animal Collective's masterwork, Merriweather Post Pavilion.

Pretty Much Amazing

Grim Reaper is Panda Bear’s most aggressively electronic work to date, full of clattering rhythms and corroded keyboards, no computer-derived sound or structure permitted to masquerade as anything other than what it is. But this makes it, oddly, his most embodied work, too.

The Skinny

Lennox has a remarkable ability to craft wonderful vocal hooks from the air and build them like blocks of Lego, sustaining the stunning spatial awareness elsewhere.

The Line of Best Fit

Whereas 2011's Tomboy sought to clear up some of Person Pitch's alluring sonic murk, Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper is an audaciously maximalist assault on the senses.


His fifth solo effort ‘Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper’ guzzles down 90s hip-hop inspired drum programming, vocal auto-tune and cyclical loops. The result is more disconcerting than anything Lennox has done before.


Grim Reaper is an unedited adventure of blossoming soundscapes, vision-blurring, dissonant melodies, and cheerful robot dance numbers.

Since the beginning of his career, Lennox’s best music has put his beautiful, haunting melodies centerstage, but here they’re more obscured and deformed than ever, making for an equally difficult and rewarding listen.

Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper is often blissful electronica for both the heart and the brain.

FACT Magazine
Panda Bear’s fourth full-length is a mature album of peace and reckoning, one that weaves ghostly textures, plumbs watery depths, but ultimately happens on something comforting and tranquil.

One of the songwriter’s most overtly gorgeous works, it finds Panda Bear easing into new ground while maintaining his near effortless melodic touch.


Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper, Lennox's fifth studio LP, is his most direct and accessible statement yet: There are no austere synth drones, no waterlogged pseudo-homages to Super Mario 64.

The Guardian

There’s nothing radically new here, which means it doesn’t have the same jolting appeal as Person Pitch. But rather than repeat himself, Lennox has successfully honed his sound.


His work is possibly the most interesting as a collision point between hippy music old and new.


This is a more colourful record than its predecessor, but it’s troubled, too.

NOW Magazine

On first listen, the album as a whole seems repetitious - there aren't any 12-minute odysseys like on breakout album Person Pitch - but its diversity reveals itself with multiple listens.

Consequence of Sound

Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper rides high on his proven strengths, but doesn’t exactly explore new territory.

Slant Magazine

After the gloomy, monochromatic Tomboy, the catchy, blissed-out buoyancy of Grim Reaper is rather refreshing, showing Lennox staking out a middle ground between quirky abstraction and pop accessibility.

Drowned in Sound

The whole effect is unsettling, with the saccharine-sweetness of Panda Bear we know being somehow corrupted, psychedelic in a disconcerting mind melting rather than flower-power way.

No Ripcord

Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper can be a particularly infuriating listen since it wanders between moments of greatness and utter tedium. Lennox is a more capable songwriter when he shows some restraint and elegance, and yet he feels the need to return to those more jumbled moments that suffer from patchy results.

The result is Lennox's sharpest, poppiest, and most idea-packed LP to date—it's also his most explicitly personal record, not to mention one of the first truly great albums of 2015
A.V. Club

Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper doesn’t push boundaries so much as it delineates the contours of Lennox’s comfort zone.

Tiny Mix Tapes
As it stands, the album sounds like Panda Bear at the height of his unchecked, uncompromised (and, therefore, at times uninventive) powers.

Eatin asian pussy all i need was sweet and sour sauce


spoliers: Mr. Noah is Panda Bear


Are you looking for an artist whose latest album had some good moments like Boys Latin and Acid Wash but was unfortunately stacked with tons of filler?

I Noah guy


While this record is well produced and offers a lot of interesting and pleasant sounds. When played together it really comes of as a bit messy to me and all over the place. Panda Bear is able to make it work still but I think making this album a lot more cohesive would do this project a huge favour. My favourite tracks are Boy Latin and Lonely Wanderer.


Have not revisited this since its release. I do recall liking the singles that make up much of the album's first half, but it was as though I cared less about each song as the album continued.


Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper is about internal conflict. About life and death, nature and industrialization. The lyrics are not that specific and rather abstract. For me this leaves more room for open interpretation. The beats on this record are very maximalist. I notice something different everytime i listen to this. He also takes a more electronic turn opposed to his earlier records. I also like how Noah samples classical music on this record.

I guess i like this album for the same ... read more

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Added on: October 23, 2014