Ariel Pink - Dedicated to Bobby Jameson
Jul 19, 2017
68
It can always be considered a fine-ass year for pop music when Ariel Pink season makes its way to town. And for the latest addition to the hypnagogic wizard's confusingly large catalog, we're treated to the expected tamer follow-up to the career-defining Pom Pom as well as a decent attempt at an overall amalgamation of styles built up since the very beginning.

Dedicated to Bobby Jameson's collection of cuts continues to follow the pattern left by previous records meaning their continuous explorations into various generations of pop music - sunshine pop, progressive pop, zolo, you name it. Regardless, you get your share knockout hits and the occasional weird detours into whatever decade of music the dude has obsessed himself with at the time - classic Ariel Pink. The majority of the record's consistent excellence with this can be found near its middle however. The title track is as snappy as can be with its offering of instantaneous hooks. "Time to Live" encapsulates the raw spirit of Ariel's infatuation of crafting lo-fi, hypnogogic prog-odysseys, syncing up hellish parade marches with underground new wave - most likely another homage to the distorted stylings of John Maus. "Another Weekend" tops it off out of any other hit here in terms of songwriting with some of his most laid-back yet thoughtful melodies yet, bringing together as well interesting themes about wasting countless weekends of your life in thought of another. A soft-spoken piece that would have definitely benefited the record more if there were more moments in its vein of maturity.

As to expect with any Ariel Pink album, especially those of his older days, there's always bound to be those left-field ditties that throw us off - in this case, the pointlessness of "Santa's in the Closet" and the Dam-Funk collab closer "Acting." It's sort of a tradition for Ariel to include tracks like these, though I'd say they really only work to full effect when the rest of the tracks on the album follow in that same overly hypnagogic feel, which his newer, "hi-fi" material doesn't exactly do as much.

It's definitely the most by-the-numbers we've seen out of an Ariel Pink album (the album title probably being the most eye-catching thing of this whole project), but all things considering, it's still Ariel Pink as we all know and love him for. Even at his most tame, the oddball genius pulls through yet again with a colourful collage of glitz and glamour while also rightfully showing us the endless raw power of a catchy, pop tune. Also, can't praise Robert Beatty enough for yet another stellar piece of artwork.

6/10
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Aug 27, 2017
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Aug 27, 2017
it's objectively house arrest, ok???
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