Album Review: Ariel Pink – Dedicated to Bobby Jameson

By Eli Schoop, Copy Editor
[Mexican Summer; 2017]
Rating: 7/10

Key Tracks: “Feels Like Heaven”, “Time To Live”, “Bubblegum Dreams”

Doting on the dreams and haunts of personhood is the specialty of Ariel Marcus Rosenberg, a.k.a. Ariel Pink. He lives in the spaces wherein rapid eye movement produces unreality and a sense of lost ontology, and Dedicated To Bobby Jameson is a tribute to how the unrelenting idea of infamy can mess with your psyche. An ode to the flamed-out 60s star, Pink uses his inventive production techniques and uncanny attention to melody and riff-building to create songs that are just as dreamy as they are melancholic. To immerse yourself in his universe is to become one with the knowing aura of the world.

“Time To Meet Your God” is the most stereotypical Pink opener possible, with his sing-song monotone ricocheting off trademark synths and a bouncing drum beat. Yet, it is far different than any other song on the album. Dedicated To Bobby Jameson is both a classic Ariel Pink affair and more emotionally resonant than anything since Mature Themes. Even though Pink is an inherently silly performer, his thematic devotion to love and loss comes across as genuine. It can be campy and trite at points, but one has to admit he’s a consistent idealist. “Feels Like Heaven” typifies this sensibility, with a Jesus and Mary Chain-esque ballad absolutely nailing the weightlessness of affection, proving Pink can shrug off the knowing wink and be serious when he feels like it.

It seems way too obvious for Pink to craft a whole motif out a far-gone idol who crashed and burned, after all, his retro-fetishism and penchant for putting his foot in mouth is a perfect match aesthetically. But his reverence for the type of person that Jameson was and the analog quality that has been a fixture of the hypnagogic legend can’t be seen as anything but admirable. Whatever your opinion of the controversial and maniacal Ariel Pink is, he continues to put out distinctive and enjoyable records. So, a toast to the pink-haired Californian, and his deceased muse, as they traverse your visions for weeks to come.

 

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