Ariel Pink: Dedicated To Bobby Jameson

- Ariel Pink is no stranger to notoriety. Interviews he gave during his last record cycle seemed to stir controversy for controversy’s sake. Claiming he’d been raped by a female dominatrix, and getting into online tousles with Madonna and Grimes, you’d be forgiven for thinking Ariel Pink is just a disengaged narcissist.  

This time round, he lets his music do the talking. On Dedicated To Bobby Jameson, the title itself is a commentary on the fickle nature of the fame game, and notably his continuing efforts to rewrite the rules.

Feels Like Heaven soars. A nod to Ariel Pink’s most obvious influence, The Cure. The dreamy ditty employs floaty, retro synth and whispery female vocals, lifting the track to an atmospheric, textural climax. Certainly the most radio friendly cut on the record; an outlier amongst the chaos.  

Lord of the juxtaposition, track Acting sees Ariel Pink switch gears, lurching to a lounge-y, bouncy guitar driven pop-funk number. The utilisation of flute and glittery synth on the cut are in stark contrast to the following track Thank You Ode To The Goat: a kitschy, game-show-theme-song-esque close to the record.

Pink spends most of the record alienating his listener, taking them on a disjointed, neon trip; swerving from palatable to downright abrasive. For the uninitiated, the wobbly vocal manipulation and wildly left of centre lyrics on Santa’s In The Closet against the jarring switch to the lo-fi, summery goodness of the title track could be uncomfortable. That’s where Pink’s genius lies: the simmering anxiety, the unapologetic approach to his stream-of-consciousness art and the nagging in the back of your mind of ‘is this all a construct?’. Hint: it probably is.

- Fiona Priddey.

Album Details

Album Title: Dedicated To Bobby Jameson
Artist: Ariel Pink
Record Label: (Kemado / Mexican Summer / Rocket)