Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti Mature Themes

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti Mature Themes
For years, Ariel Pink showcased his gift for songwriting only in choppy, fuzzed-out recordings that accurately reflected the fact that he wrote quickly, recorded cheaply, and often stitched bits of older songs to newer compositions. Those recordings ― Worn Copy, The Doldrums, House Arrest, and to a lesser degree, his 2010 breakout, Before Today ― were excellent, but the aptly-titled Mature Themes marks a new beginning for Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti. For one, it's composed of entirely new recordings, ones that wriggle and jive with the aesthetic of his older songs, but with more cohesion and attention to composition. Songs like "Driftwood" and "Symphony of the Nymph" are fleshed-out jams that demonstrate his new focus, as if the grand epic "Nostradamus and Me" didn't. That's not to say Pink has lost his sense of fun: two-minute pop gems "Is This The Best Spot?" and "Pink Slime," along with "Schnitzel Boogie," are highlights. What he has lost is the sense of ADD and slap-dash recording quality that pervaded his earlier releases, for neither better nor worse; like any good artist, Ariel Pink is simply evolving. (4AD)