Music: Ariel Pink – Before Today:

The Fanzine


There’s a point on Before Today, the new album by Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti (the 1:45 minute mark of ‘Beverly Kills’ to be exact), that the sound of Prefab Sprout at their best permeates the air. It is unexpected, but completely welcome and mind blowing in its own little way. Unexpected, because who references Prefab Sprout in this day and age, and welcome because more people should. What makes it surprising though, is that it lasts a total of 15 seconds and is at complete odds with the rest of the song, one that lays a bed of Gang Of Four bass popping post-funk underneath a psychedelic wall of new romantic soul. It’s brilliant, as is most everything here which touches on everything from 60’s psych garage through…well, anything you can imagine. Ariel Pink manages to reference a league of hundreds within minutes while sounding wholly original and just as gifted as any of the sources. There are a million twists and turns on this record and all of them lead to great places and reveal something new with each listen. ‘Hot Body Rub’, the opening track, combines Can, Fela Kuti and the Monks into one seamless whole in under two and half minutes. I am pretty sure no pop song this year will touch the pop brilliance of Round And Round, and Can’t Hear My Eyes is so well crafted it hurts. I am hard pressed to play that Album Of The Year contender bullshit in the middle of June, but when an album is this endlessly listenable I may have to make an exception. Nice. -Eric Talyor