I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t get it. I’m not gonna play some high-and-mighty critic role and try to come up with some lame way to pretend that I figured out some lame way to interpret Ariel Pink, ’cause I haven’t. This record is immediately weird. It’s up to you, dear listeners, to figure it out.
Now I’m no stranger to strange probably most of the music I would list as my favorite shit ever would be frowned on by the general populace as “weird.” And that’s fine. But I think there’s a distinction between weird weird and “funny haha” weird. And I can’t quite tell where Ariel Pink fits in there. My inclination is to say towards the latter.
First impressions being what they are, I get the sense that Ariel Pink one guy who does everything on his records isn’t necessarily trying to be “funny haha” weird. Unfortunately, a lot of the tunes come across that way. What’s the most telling factor? Well the helium voices, definitely. I’m not sure if sounding like Ween is something he’s consciously shooting for, but he’s not far off. Additionally, the lo-fi-ness low-finesse of the recordings adds to the Beck outtake factor. Buried under the hissing sizzle and falsetto overloads is an occasional pop hook, sometimes even reminiscent (to me, anyway) of prime Scott Walker. Except you can’t tell what the fuck he’s singing. Put him in a studio with a decent engineer; clean him up a bit, maybe you got something. Then again, maybe not.