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Ariel Pink has been making lo-fi bedroom music since the late ‘90s in a style some might consider loner noodling, while others refer to it as the birth of “chillwave.” However, Pink has always had an ear for hidden treasures, and for transforming one thing into quite another through effects, collage, and sheer will. Before Today is a first in many ways: his first release for a major independent label, his first with a full band, his first collection of new songs created en suite, as a whole. It’s as amorphous and shape shifting as anything he’s ever done, but — by elevating the process itself — the collection has more power, and leaves a more lasting impression. “Bright Lit Blue Skies,” a surf-flavored ‘60s cover, feels directly aimed at summertime radio, while the soft-rock ‘70s colors tracks like “Can’t Hear My Eyes,” with its sparkling analog organ riffs, and the stellar single “Round and Round,” a tune that personifies the fine line between cheese and the pop cool of the time. Before Today is shaded with everything from Krautrock to psychedelia, prog to British post-punk, and is the place for Ariel Pink novices to begin their journey.
An open debate
I'm as much of a music geek as most the people here who have reviewed this album. Most people who have reviewed this album are also already Ariel Pink fans. I will admit that this is his most accessible album to date. There are several songs on here that are pop gems. But, as a whole? I disagree. "Round and Round," the lead single, in my opinion is a mess. The disjointed time changes act more like a song within a song, and don't truly hold together as one composition to me. I'm glad to see he's upping his production value a little bit though. I just feel that lo-fi recording for the sake of being lo-fi is kind of pointless. Guided By Voices, for example, recorded on 4 and 8-track because that was all they had available to them in the late 80s. It then just became their staple sound moving into the 90s. When artists record using that method today, I find it more pretentious. If the technology is available to you, which it is today, use it. I guess I'm rambling. Again, I'm not trying to hate on the guy's talent. I think he's an artist. I just don't dig it as much as everyone else. To each his own.
it's just the best release of the year. A brilliant masterpiece from start to finish. Big cheers, big cheers.
This is my beer cooler joint
This is what I plan on popping a top to this summer! Great vibe. Good for night driving in the city.
Formed: 1996 in Los Angeles, CA
Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s
Top Albums and Songs By Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti
||Baby||Mature Themes||4:47||$1.29||View In iTunes|
||Round and Round||Before Today||5:08||$1.29||View In iTunes|
||Bright Lit Blue Skies||Before Today||2:24||$1.29||View In iTunes|
||Only In My Dreams||Only In My Dreams - Single||3:11||$1.29||View In iTunes|
||Round and Round||Round and Round - Single||5:13||$1.29||View In iTunes|
||Only In My Dreams||Mature Themes||3:11||$1.29||View In iTunes|
||Can't Hear My Eyes||Before Today||3:19||$1.29||View In iTunes|
||Beverly Kills||Before Today||3:56||$1.29||View In iTunes|
||Fright Night (Nevermore)||Before Today||3:35||$1.29||View In iTunes|
||For Kate I Wait||The Doldrums||4:19||$0.99||View In iTunes|