Sunday, June 13, 2010

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - Before Today (2010)


For fans of: R. Stevie Moore, Neon Indian, Animal Collective

This is Ariel Pink's first release for a well-known label and the Haunted Graffiti really seem to have upped their game for their 4AD debut. I've plenty enjoyed their music in the past, but never has it hit me quite as greatly as this one. All of their music has an aura of 80s retro, but while in the past it's been really hazy and lo-fi, Before Today is a big step up production wise. Some may see that as a compromise, but I don't think so at all, they use the production to bring out the best of what's in their music. Rather than sounding like a bedroom recording that idolizes the sounds of the 80s, this one sounds like it actually uses the improved production technologies that were often employed in that decade. As for the songs themselves, they should be pop hits, they're filled with joy and I can't help but grin from ear to ear while listening to them. Not all of the songs here are fully new ones, but the way they are meticulously recorded here make them all sound new. This is certainly the Ariel Pink album I'll be listening to most, until their next one at least. - Matthew Foster

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