Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti

  • Mature Themes [4AD, 2012] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Mature Themes [4AD, 2012]
After myriad albums of which I've heard half a dozen, 2010's mysteriously well-regarded non-DIY debut Before Today all too prominent among them, Ariel Rosenberg sneaks in a good one. By cult say-so a no-fail songsmith denied his place in the stratosphere by his lo-fi principles (cf. Daniel Johnston, Robert Pollard, Kurt Vile), he gears up his factory to roll out a line of relatable tunes, many with relatable lyrics attached, adding up to . . . songs! These tend silly whether stubbornly kinky (the betesticled statement of musical intentions "Kinski Assassin," the "symphony" for a "nympho at the bibliotech") or proudly ridiculous (the late "Houdini do this, do that" whereby a middling track escapes the doldrums, the Descendents joke Ariel's fans aren't old enough to get). The tunes are also silly. Singing and arrangements too. Mature my patootie--and that's a good thing. A-