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REVIEW: Ariel Pink Takes Fans Back to the ‘80s

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Arthur Welch, News Editor

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          Arthur Welch

Dedicated To Bobby Jameson is the eleventh studio album from Los Angeles based multi-instrumentalist, Ariel Pink. His signature lo fi sound takes heavy inspiration from the 80s, almost to the point
of a nostalgic, throwback feel.

After the release of the insane and vibrant album, 2014’s pom pom, Ariel has seemingly gone back to his roots in his latest record.

As usual, he combines elements of pop, art rock and lo fi to assemble a driving force of song writing and vocal talent, but this time in a more “lowkey,” reserved way.

It’s certainly an easier listen than most of his albums, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a step in the wrong direction. I’ve heard the argument that this album being more condensed is a reason it’s not as good, but I’d have to disagree.

If anything, Ariel going in this more laid back approach, and still making it an interesting listen, just goes to show how strong his song writing is.

I think a big contributor to what makes these songs so enjoyable is the overall structure of them.

The track “Feels Like Heaven” builds upon itself to each chorus until Ariel’s voice carries and fades the track out.

Not to mention, the incredibly militaristic and creepy “Time to Live,” is a song about the mundane goings from day to day life.

Ariel has a robotic chant going through the song, which adds on the eerie feeling of it. Eventually, the lo fi production collapses on itself, in which Ariel appears on the track to deliver one of the most aggresive and demanding vocal performances I’ve ever heard him do.

There are some fun moments on this album too, such as the hilarious “Dreamdate Narcissist,” which has one of the faster instrumentals on the record.

Reading into the lyrics reveals why it’s such a funny song, he pretty much describes why he’s the absolute worst person to take out on a date.

The few issues I have with this album are the opening and closing tracks: “Time to Meet Your God” and “Revenge of The Iceman.”

Unfortunately, both just felt like throwaway songs to me.

Not nearly as memorable as some of the albums deeper cuts, and are just simply underdeveloped.

All in all, I think this album is fantastic. It showcases Ariel in a more songwriting focused song structure, it justifies its 49-minute length, the hooks on these tracks are as catchy as they’ve ever been.

(I’ve had the melodies for Kitchen Witch and the title track stuck in my head since I first heard them) This leaves me hopeful for what’s next for Ariel, as I’ll certainly be anticipating what’s to come following this record.


Arthur Welch is a columnist for The Point.

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REVIEW: Ariel Pink Takes Fans Back to the ‘80s