Issue September 25, 2012

Mature Themes

Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti
4AD

Nobody today has done a finer job creating new sounds than Ariel Pink. Mature Themes follows up Before Today’s re-recorded soulful, lo-fi wonders. Themes — partly attributed to heartbreak — is a consequential supernova, collapsed by the tension of funky, sarcastic salutes (openers “Kinski Assassin” and “Is This the Best?”), both restless compared to the beautifully warped pop, R&B and soul methods Pink has rendered into painstaking contemplations of lost eras. An emotive work better understood by the listener’s own self-exploration, these are living, breathing songs that already feel classic. Twangy riffs of “Only in My Dreams” and “Live it Up” even outdo Blue Oyster Cult breeding with The Cure, and marks them instant classix. Turns out I’m not the only one to connect Ariel Pink with Frank Zappa.