tue 26/09/2017

CD: Ariel Pink - Dedicated To Bobby Jameson | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Ariel Pink - Dedicated To Bobby Jameson

CD: Ariel Pink - Dedicated To Bobby Jameson

First solo album since 2014 for the unhinged LA musical magpie

Dedicated to Bobby Jameson: stylistic somersaults

Dedicated To Bobby Jameson is Ariel Pink’s 11th album in almost 20 years and his first since 2014’s prog-pop pom pom. However, anyone expecting a mid-career lurch into the mainstream from LA’s musical magpie is going to be sorely disappointed. Jumping stylistic caverns between songs and sometimes even several times within them, Pink pulls on a rainbow of sonic styles with bit of Eighties electropop here and bit of lo-fi power pop there among other colours and a hefty dose of whatever Todd Rundgren’s been drinking over the years throughout. All while ruminating about the life of Bobby Jameson – an obscure Sixties LA musician who disappeared for 35 years, after suffering from mental health and alcohol problems, before resurfacing a decade ago.

In this lively game of musical swip-swop and stylistic somersaults, Pink comes up trumps on the summery pop of “Dedicated to Bobby Jameson” and the rather strange New Romantics-on-acid stylings of “Santa’s in the Closet”. The smiley power pop of “Bubblegum Dreams” and the Electric Prunes-like psychedelic grooviness of “Dreamdate Narcissist” similarly hit the sweet spot and are just the right soundtrack for squeezing the last out of a fitful British summer.

Somewhat inevitably, all this chopping and changing does mean that Dedicated To Bobby Jameson could perhaps have done with a bit more attention to quality control. Opening track, “Time to meet your God” comes on like Cosmo Jarvis taking the piss over some uninspiring electro-pop and “Acting”, a collaboration with Dȃm-Funk, is far too close to the sound of early Eighties British suburban night clubs for anyone who was there to have to reasonably endure without medical supervision. But such moments are fortunately few.

Jumping stylistic caverns between songs and sometimes even several times within them, Pink pulls on a rainbow of sonic styles

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Average: 3 (1 vote)

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