In his first full-length release since 2014’s pom pom, Ariel Pink returns to the 60s psychedelia of his 2004 debut album, while simultaneously narrating the rebirth, and dark, tormented life, of the largely mythological, 60s musician Bobby Jameson, to whom the album dedicated. Fans of Pink will know that his musical lexicon is expansive, as demonstrated in Dedicated to Bobby Jameson, for while the title track is resonant of such aforementioned psychedelic rock, ‘Feels Like Heaven’ seems to mimic the melancholic tone of Morrissey, while ‘Santa’s in the Closet’ has such raw, 70s authenticity that could easily be mistaken for a single on Bowie’s Diamond Dogs. Yet as characteristic of his complex versatility, Pink with his final song, ‘Revenge of the Iceman’, in a seemingly arbitrary fashion, reverberates the English punk rebellion of the 1980s. Although this intense exploration of genres creates a sense of mystery akin to Jameson’s life, it also challenges the fluidity in complete records that tends to not only make them easy-listening, but also allows for a simple enjoyment of the overall composition. Therefore, for those not familiar with the plethora of styles found in Pink’s back catalogue, and his tendency to concurrently explore each extremity of his artistic ability, Dedicated to Bobby Jameson certainly makes for an uncomfortable listen.
IMAGE: Todd Dominer, Flickr