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2:46
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4:47
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Format: Audio CD
I've always felt like Robert Pollard (of Guided by Voices fame) and Ariel Pink had a few things in common: namely, their songwriting techniques. On his solo work, Pollard would crank out a ton of music, and it would range greatly in quality. Pink seems to have a similar process: these songs seem to be based on loose ideas, and some of them are fantastic while others are fall on their face. This "everything-and-the-kitchen-sink" process leads to some pretty uneven albums that are marked with some amazing highs and middling lows. Ariel Pink's Haunted Grafitti's new album, MATURE THEMES is a bit more consistent than the band's past releases.

Album opener "Kinski Assassin" MATURE THEMES off on the right foot -- it's a breezy, poppy, catchy tune with a sing-a-long chorus. It's the album's most immediately accessible track, and it gives way to "Is This the Best Spot," "Mature Themes," and "Only in My Dreams" and "Driftwood," making the album's first half prettyspectacular. "Only in My Dreams" in particular seems like it could serve as a hit for the album with its beach-based guitar riff and 80's production. The album ends with a cover of Donnie and Joe Emerson's "Baby;" it does double duty here as the album's lead single and the closing track. Pink sends the song into space and layers it with a distant coat of reverb -- it's a smooth track, and a pleasantly calm one on an album maddeningly full of ideas.

The album isn't without it's lows: "Schnitzel Boogie" feels slapped together; its stream-of-conscious subject matter and muffled production make its 4:35 running time feel twice as long.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Great album. Of course Ariel Pink isn't for everybody, but if you're familiar with his work then this is an album to own and listen to multiple times. He doesn't shed any of his tried and true tricks of "his" trade, and yet this album is very much different than any prior. Mature Themes has a noticeably higher fidelity than any albums prior, but it's still "dirty," one Ariel's distinctive qualities. There also remains the reverie, the abstract, psychedelic fancies and the tong-in-cheek qualities that have been a part of most everything he does.
So what's different about this album? Well, I would call it a concept album for one. Every song, if you pay attention, is a metaphor (or just straight up) about sex, sexual desire, fetish, lust, etc... The album really is just mature themes. There are some interesting references (Lone Ranger theme song?) and a wide range of style from eras past.
Overall I felt there are some awesome sounds that come from this album, some catchy tunes and that great sense of humor and toying with aesthetic that Ariel is so good at.
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Format: Audio CD
Cheerful, ironic, heart felt and volatile at the same time. Far from being another chaotic post modern pastiche, this album is a true celebration of creative freedom and fierce risk taking. Granted it will filter out posers that got hooked on round and round's chorus only. If you got to the heart of matters of "before today", this is just as rewarding. To be honest, I find the first seven albums difficult to digest, but I think he has found a great sense of balance between the weird and the intelligible. If you don't pay enough attention you are bound to miss a lot of the subtleties and humor adult themes has to offer. Even the darkest, most repetitive tracks bear repeated listening and are a journey from start to end. They will resurface from the strangest places of your subjectivity and draw you to listen again. And discover, for example, that every time he chants the Houdini ostinato on Early Birds of Babylon he does it differently: displacing the phrasing, stuttering, intertwining with the distant organ line from every possible angle. Painting an organized, structured yet abstract piece of music. How does he do that? Ariel's music is often labeled as lo-fi, but if you listen to it on a decent sound system, the staggering depth of the soundscapes and compositional flight will leave little doubt that this is one of the finest albums of 2012.
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
This has become one of my favorite albums of 2012, but I was disappointed when I finally got my hands on the LP and saw that "Baby" is missing on the vinyl version. What gives?
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Format: Audio CD
late 1960s psychedelic funhouse turned askew san post apocalyptic Mayan calendar "we are now and forever more very much alive and will do whatever turns our fancy in sunny southern California I E O you nothing". the best darn song writing that is both clever, original, and frigging freaking out like no other banshee ninja screaming mother of a son of banjo strumming toothless wonder. if you like this you are weird, cool, and the don't care what the tea party sippers are touting in today's propaganda machine screaming obscenities against this kind of kind ilk. come ye that worship the naked virgin and the vast four feet tall, natural grasses of the wide open western plains. hear the thunder of Indian ponies hooves charging and warpaint rallies circling a bon fire ablaze seen from afar. like nothing you will hear today, tomorrow, or many yesterdays. melodic, stony, and totally mad. I love it. you might also.
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