Ty Segall finds his creative groove on ‘Freedom’s Goblin’

The prolific artist’s newest release is his best album to date


Ty Segall's latest LP "Freedom's Goblin" is his most impressive work yet, boasting a brilliant range of creativity.

Courtesy Band Camp

Ty Segall has never been one to be pigeonholed into a certain sound. While he has been hailed as a figurehead of the garage rock revival, he has stated that his artistic influences spread much wider — reaching from hardcore punk legends Black Flag to glam rockers like T. Rex and David Bowie. He has also never been afraid to act on those whims of influence either. Segall has achieved a reputation as one of the most prolific artists working today. To date, he has released nine solo studio albums, two collaborative albums and many other projects with the numerous other bands with which he is involved. Segall’s newest album — “Freedom’s Goblin” — is his attempt to mesh all of his creative influences into a single project. The album doesn’t play out as a single, cohesive experience, but rather a collection of well-crafted singles. The 19-track, 74-minute double album sees Segall firing on cylinders creatively. 

The record kicks of with “Fanny Dog,” a blues rock inspired tribute to his dog. The track’s crushing guitar riff, rolling piano and bright saxophone flourishes set the tone for anthemic rock music housed on the rest of the album. Segall dabbles in almost every genre imaginable on “Freedom’s Goblin.” He goes from the blues, to a piano ballad, to some distorted funk rock and even tries his hand at some new wave — that’s just on the first four tracks. Eventually, Segall shows of his penchant for glam rock on tracks like “Cry Cry Cry” and “You Say All the Nice Things,” pays homage to The Band on “The Last Waltz” and finishes the album with a 12-minute heavy, Led Zeppelin-inspired, hard rock closer called “And, Goodnight.” 

The best song on the record is easily “My Lady’s on Fire.” The track sees Segall stepping back from his usual fuzzy, garage-punk aesthetic to create an acoustic guitar-driven track, sounding just as if it came off a Big Star record. The song’s head-bobbing groove and vocal melody showcases Segall’s ability to write perfect pop songs without the need for his usual assaults of feedback and distortion. The song is capped with an amazing saxophone solo, which is sure to bring a smile to any listener’s face. 

However, what really cements “Freedom’s Goblin” as a fantastic album is Segall’s incredible songwriting ability. Whether he is hitting the listener with a fast and fuzzy barrage of punk rock, a sludgy, distorted heavy metal track or an arena-sized piece of glam rock, there is always an immensely catchy tune underneath holding everything together. Almost every song has a memorable hook or a sticky vocal melody, which will be stuck in the listener’s head for hours after hearing it. 

Usually, an album as long as “Freedom’s Goblin” tends to get a bit boring and repetitive towards the end. That is not the case here. The variety of sounds from track to track lends a sense of unpredictability to the album, which only adds to its ability to be replayed. The beauty of “Freedom’s Goblin” is one never knows what’s coming next. The only thing that’s certain is, whatever does come next, it’s going to be incredible. 

The virtuosity of Ty Segall is demonstrated in his ability to fuse his many inspirations into a singular artistic vision that is solely his own. While “Freedom’s Goblin” may not be the most original album ever released, it is almost perfectly executed from front to back. Every concept Segall experiments with is carried out in an impeccable manner and displays why he is one of the most unique and talented artists working today. There aren’t many albums like “Freedom’s Goblin” being released today. In an era where the rock album seems to be dying, it is refreshing to see a piece of high quality rock-and-roll being put out by such a talented musician. If Segall’s track record is any indication, “Freedom’s Goblin” will not be an outlier, but a sign of more great things to come. 

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