Every once in while an album comes along that just absolutely blows your mind. It seems to be happening more often than not this year! I am talking about the kind of album that you just can't stop listening to...the kind of album you want to live inside of...the kind of album you want to call in sick for so you can listen to it over and over again...the kind of album I have in my car, on my turntable and in my cd player all at the same time! I am seriously considering making a cassette tape of this album so I can carry it around with me everywhere I go...I did just say cassette, because the album I am talking about does not really make sense as a digital file. It would make more sense on a cassette or 8-track. I am talking about the new album by Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti! Ariel Pink has found a new home with 4AD records and has put out one of the best albums of the year. I just don't think any other album is gonna be able to compete with it this year. The new album is called Before Today. I will be the first to admit that I don't own any other Ariel Pink albums. I obviously know who he is and have been hearing things about him for years, but I just always figured he was a bit too weird for me. I sort of put him with the whole Devendra Banhart genre and thought it was best to stay away. I'd like to think that Ariel Pink got sick of me ignoring his albums and made this album just for me. He made the exact kind of album that I was going to fall in love with -- the kind that seems like it came directly out of the 70s, like it was 1975 all over again and you just happened to turn on the radio and hear this amazing album. Think about your favorite songs from Hall & Oates, Asia, Bread, Ambrosia, Todd Rundgren, Chicago, The Carpenters, Michael McDonald, Billy Joel, The Climax Blues Band, 10CC, Al Stewart, and Manfred Mann's Earth Band; and then imagine them all mixed up together and then the best things about them created into new amazing songs. This is sort of what you get with this new album!
Ariel Pink was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, which makes me love him even more. I know that there are a lot of us born in LA. but it seems that very few of the artists that I fall in love with end up coming from LA. He has been putting out music since 1996, it just took him this long to get into my life. I know I am not alone in my recent discovery of the genius of Ariel Pink. This album is for sure a bit more accessible and well-produced. He has a full real band playing with him now also! This is some seriously good stuff. You need to go pick up this album and discover it for yourself. But don't worry if you're already a fan -- there's still some weird stuff. The songs often get a bit crazy and end up going places you would never find a normal pop song exploring. This album is full of fantastic songs and as it plays out they just keep gettin better! One of my favorites is "Bright Light Blue Skies." "Fright Night" is amazing! "Can't Hear My Eyes" is probably my favorite of them all, though. Thank you, Ariel PInk! This album is full of the perfect summer jams -- what a great start to the summer! Perfect for those warm Los Angeles Summer nights. I will be exploring some old Ariel PInk albums for sure as well, but I have a felling that they will all be leading me back to this amazing new album. It just can't really get any better than this!