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13 Reviews
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Doldrums
When I first heard tracks from this album on Stuart Maconie's "Freak Zone" show on BBC, I knew I had to have it. It sounded different from everything that I had been listening in the past. A fan of hardcore diy, Ariel Pink creates an unique sound based on lo-fi and classic pop. Another reviewer says that it sounds "as if a pillow was pressed against the stereo", but I...
Published on April 16, 2008 by qwff

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6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fried Sugar !
Seemingly recorded under a blanket in the next room, this batch of low-fi pop requires a special ear. Like a Beegees cassette from an other dimension that David Bowie found warped in the sun.
Murky production, shambolicly executed and quirky as hell. There are some indisputably ingenious melodies here. But the songs drag on a bit too long which becomes problematic...
Published on January 13, 2005 by flyintrain


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Doldrums, April 16, 2008
By 
This review is from: Doldrums (Audio CD)
When I first heard tracks from this album on Stuart Maconie's "Freak Zone" show on BBC, I knew I had to have it. It sounded different from everything that I had been listening in the past. A fan of hardcore diy, Ariel Pink creates an unique sound based on lo-fi and classic pop. Another reviewer says that it sounds "as if a pillow was pressed against the stereo", but I think that is an essential part of Ariel's style. You see sudden bursts of beauty but you can't take it or control it. It is like if the music came, distorted, from a neighbor party to which you are not invited.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars goodbye horses, March 17, 2005
This review is from: Doldrums (Audio CD)
While everyone's mining the 70s and 80s for nostalgic purposes or in this self-conscious, tongue-in-cheek kind of way, it's refreshing to hear kids who grew up then just sort of expressing how that was. At the Whitney this year there was a room full of Super Mario clouds advancing across the walls with this 8-bit soundtrack over, and it made you remember how weird it felt to spend an entire afternoon just in that small square world. Ariel Pink reminds me of how MTV felt. I didn't have cable, and so I got it in glimpses from friends' older sisters, and it is in my head this jumble of synths and halated light and cheap drum loops and effete young men with lined eyes. It's like Ariel and I had the same wallpaper.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Unique, gorgeous and ethereal sound., July 26, 2014
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This review is from: The Doldrums (MP3 Music)
Amazing lo-fi artistry...so glad to have come across this album again! I love the strange combinations of layered sound and varying levels of lyrical clarity. It's like listening in on someone's thoughts with fascination rather than voyeuristic intent - you can't quite make out all the words or the emotional content as "noise" fizzes over; scrambling some of the personal meaning. At other times the station comes fully in range again and the listener can more easily pick up what is meant to be projected. The overall effect creates a sense of guarded intimacy.
"Among Dreams" is my favorite track on the album, and it's an accessible example of the acquired weirdness that is Ariel Pink.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hauntingly Beautiful, April 26, 2005
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This review is from: Doldrums (Audio CD)
I got this record because a recent SPIN review gave it an A. This record is the kind of music you'd listen to while painting or writing poetry. This is not happy dance music, but it is so unique and different. The low-fi effect can get a little annoying, but hey, just take it as it is and get your creative juices flowing.
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4.0 out of 5 stars MY Doldrums, July 10, 2013
By 
James R. Hall "Artier Than Thou" (Maple Grove, MN United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Doldrums (MP3 Music)
I've copied my Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti MP3's to a flash drive which I wear on a lanyard. It has great talismanic significance for me.
Creativity has always fascinated me. "Why did he start writing songs?", "What keeps him going?" and most important in this case "Why is Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti so different?". There's a fluidity in the writing that's unsurpassed - at least in the Indi-DIY arena. The vocal & lyrical stile compliment each other well and while the recording is primitive there is an undeniable pop sensibility that I find quite pleasing.
It's a weird little snack. Not for everyone. It'll be a long time before I'm done studying it though and it pleases me to have The Doldrums hanging from my neck.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Scratchy Wax and Shimmering Pastels Floating through Sonic Strings, October 19, 2012
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This review is from: Doldrums (Audio CD)
Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti's second album "The Doldrums" may sound like a bummer, but the elbow swinging honey-suckle beats drifting through your neighbor's window from another era tell a different story. Sure there might be some things bothering you- isn't there always something- and this album feels a bit like dozing off on a tweed couch to dream candy coated rollerrinks and early 70s car rides. Pink's is an era where dreaming and everyday imagination are more commonplace. "The Doldrums" (2004) is considered by many to be Ariel Pink's breakthrough album, one that would affect an entire generation of artists that came afterward. Ariel consistently uses poppy, treble-fed beats that sound bright and colorful, but he mixes them with reverb, distortion and miscellaneous recorded sounds that make it sound far away. I am wary to oversimplify Pink's vocals, but he seems to have two main tones, a dull, detached mid-toned male voice and a screeching high-pitched wail. The other members of the band also pitch-in vocals frequently, often as back-up singers or to reinforce certain words or phrases.

"Among Dreams we're best friends" begins the third track of the album, a sentiment that Ariel Pink relays deeply. In a Spin article [...] I read from August 2012, Ariel tells of his intent to take music back before the gaudy hair shows of the 80s and the depressed and departed grunge of the 90s. "Amoung Dreams" wistfully imagines this harmonious world and we tread there upon a cool, beach guitar rhythm. "For Kate I Wait" is next, portrayed almost entirely against a humming electronic sunset tone. Kate must be one rad chick. The play doesn't slow as "Haunted Graffiti" comes next, and the gritty streets come through before a male and female voice sing simultanously over a hissing reverb. This switches, becoming melodic again and then quickly switching to an offbeat instrumental, three chords repeated. If it's becoming hard to follow me, that's the nature of the album. It feels almost betraying to attempt to review the album formally, as it wants to resist such categorizations as much as possible. "Envelopes Another Day" is the eighth song on the album, and here we feel more strongly what might be bringing Ariel down. "In the grave silence" is repeated more than 20 times as the chorus; this silence and its appearance in the dark moments of our lives may be the great fear that Ariel is fighting off in his music. "The Doldrums" (section) ends with one of my favorite tracks on the album "The Ballad of Bobby Pyn"- a true ballad at 10:58- whereupon we journey with Bobby through what feels like a long bender of drugs and other hopeless addictions. Ariel seems to play the voice in Bobby's head, a whispering devil over simple wood sticks and a rumba shaker with the periodic waft of guitar in the air.

From here we move into the "Vital Pink" section of the album, the last six songs. The only discernable difference I can make out between this section and the first is that it's softer and more distorted; I can barely make out any of the words. "Until the Night Dies" feels like it's playing underwater and "Theme from Unreleased" sounds like it was recorded inside a oil drum fire. Maybe not so accidentally, "Let's Build a Camfire There" follows and has a more delicate tone, as if last night's garbage flames burned away some resentment and gave way to a more peaceful gathering tonight. 60s melodies bounce off one another along with group vocals and you can't help but smile at the imagined scene. We take another turn into the doldrums with the final song, "Young Pilot Astray" which would likely be Ariel's funeral march if he had one. Maybe not that good, but at least good enough for a young pilot's untimely death.

If you like distortion this album is a must. I doubt bands like Wavves or Holy Ghost Party would exist the way they do today without "The Doldrums." Animal Collective knew what they were doing when they signed Ariel Pink for this album on Paw Tracks, and we're all better off that they did so and launched his mysterious and exciting career. The music is dually crumpled and sensual, an unexpected but addictive mix for today's distracted, rich youth.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Doldrums Song List, May 27, 2011
By 
Manic Obsession Music (ANAHEIM, CA. United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Doldrums (Audio CD)
Songs Include : Good Kids Make Bad Grown Ups / Strange Fires / Among Dreams / For Kate I Wait / Haunted Graffiti / Gray Sunset / The Doldrums / Envelopes Another Day / The Ballad Of Bobby Pyn / Don't Think Twice Love / Until The Night Dies / Crying / Theme From Unreleased Claris Gardens / Let's Build A Camp Fire There / Young Pilot Astray
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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Young Pilot Astray, November 21, 2004
This review is from: Doldrums (Audio CD)
Ariel Pink is my transcontinentialist friend. Best DIY madness out there. Pop sensibility gone askew. Young pilot ashtray. This astute record is blowing down the doors, and I am grateful that the gods have finally budged, albeit inches. Bless the adventureous ears of pawtracks and carpark. Let this lunatic fringe album pull you peasants up out of the quicksand of mediocrity. We need surprises desperately. This is one. California streaming. Very highly rated, so honestly speaking. Acid bath frolicking. Click the unclickable: angelfire.com/la3/zanna/ Can you see me grimace?
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5.0 out of 5 stars doldrums, November 28, 2010
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This review is from: Doldrums (Audio CD)
Excelente disco de Ariel pink el tipo de música perfecta para pintar o hacer arte, si te gusta Ariel Pink chequea John maus.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ohter world., October 8, 2005
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This review is from: Doldrums (Audio CD)
This album is something special. The sound quality is the sweetest. The voice. The instruments. The whole thing. When I heard this, I knew I had made a new friend.

The only thing- sometimes the songs are way too long.
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Doldrums
Doldrums by Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti (Audio CD - 2004)
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