Ariel Pink is one of Pop music’s most zany personalities, yet the LA-based musician has shown that throughout the years, he is still as prolific as ever.
Ariel Marcus Rosenberg, who is known under the moniker ‘Ariel Pink’ has been in this music thing for quite a while. He may not be a standard household name for many, but to those versed in the Alternative realms of Pop and Rock music, he is one of the greatest Alt-Pop artists of the 2000’s. Due to his lyrical content, Lo-Fi production methods and perfectly glitzy mid-to-late 20th century pop pastiche, Ariel has always had a knack for blending the catchy with the preposterous.
Early on in his career, Ariel Pink had the extended tagline known as ‘Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti’. Through this name, Ariel produced many an album that challenged not only what ‘Pop’ music could be considered, but what it actually was. This brand new LP is so much more of a rewind in Ariel’s sound than veteran listeners may expect, based on what his last album, ‘Pom Pom’ was like. For the new listeners, this record is very reminiscent of Ariel’s earliest releases (under the ‘Haunted Graffiti’ name) such as ‘Lover Boy’, ‘House Arrest’ and ‘Scared Famous/FF’ among others. Speaking on such records, it must be noted that Ariel has been credited with inspiring and pioneering the ‘Chillwave’/’Hypnagogic Pop’ genres, with these previously noted albums being at the forefront.
At first glance, just based upon the eerily glamorous cover art of ‘Dedicated to Bobby Jameson’ (delivered by photographer Charlotte Ercoli Coe) one might start to understand the atmosphere and aesthetic that Ariel’s music exudes. Towards the beginning of the track listing, it is apparent that there may be a spiritual, or even an existential commentary going on within many of these songs. One specific example of this comes from the track ‘Time to Meet Your God’ that chants the lyrics “Time to meet the Lord, thy God” which in turn procures a cryptic listen. Yet, this track still fits in soaring synths — a staple for Pink. The proceeding track ‘Feels Like Heaven’ features Pink’s passionate vocals singing about a new love who’s presence feels “just like heaven”. On ‘Time to Live’ Ariel is found to be repeating the phrase “Time to live, time for life” through most of the track. He continues this ominous trend with the lyrics “You cannot die, you have to live, that’s what it’s for”, solidifying the profound and conceptual atmosphere looming around on this project.
This is a record that will challenge your outlook on Pop music as a whole, just as any Ariel Pink record will. It is nostalgically familiar, yet extraordinarily foreign. Be sure to listen to ‘Dedicated to Bobby Jameson’ at the top of the article.