Ariel Pink’s new album Dedicated to Bobby Jameson came out on September 15, 2017. Since then, it’s been the only thing I’ve listened to. As a result, I have accumulated many opinions of this album and Ariel Pink as an artist. The album is devoted to the 1960’s American singer and songwriter, Bobby Jameson. Ariel Pink has before mentioned the impact Jameson had on his life and his interest in devoting an album to him for a while now.
Ariel Pink’s sound is unique and personal to him as an artist. Dedicated to Bobby Jameson specifically captures Ariel Pink as a whole and exemplifies his usage of strange sounds to create meaningful songs. A grungy vibe exudes from a few of the tracks, particularly “Bubblegum Dreams” and “Revenge of the Iceman”. This album does have its grungy songs, but overall it contains more softly paced songs. Ariel Pink is best when executing softer and toned back songs as opposed to ones with heavy guitar usage and aggressive lyrics.
“Feels Like Heaven” is one of the best tracks on the album and is similar to “I Don’t Owe You Anything” by The Smiths. His voice sounds outstanding in the song and sends a chill down my back every time I listen. The two songs sound very similar and this album overall has a very 80’s aesthetic. Most of the songs could easily fall into cliché 80’s movies where the guy always wins the girl in the end.
Compared to previous Ariel Pink albums, Dedicated to Bobby Jameson contains more thoughtful, impressive, and meaningful lyrics. Pom pom’s tracks focused on beats rather than lyrical meaning and most of the songs on that album were more fun than deep. Perhaps the deeper meaning stems from his deep feelings for his prominent role model.
Everything about the album is Halloweeny; from the album cover to individual tracks themselves. The album cover’s color scheme and simplicity is memorable. It suggests a darkness and foreboding, much more so than his previous albums. Alongside the album cover, a number of the songs are haunting.
Overall, this is a great album. Ariel Pink is one of those artists that I can never tell what mood I will be in when I listen to him. This album completely proves that idea. When you listen to it, I cannot tell you what circumstance to be in. While walking around campus listening to it, some songs flowed me into happiness, and energized me, while some mellowed me, and calmed me. But, that is the beauty of this album, and Ariel Pink will forever manage to bring his style into each and every new album he releases.
By: Allison Coonley