Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Before Today

June 12, 2010

Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti do for 70s AM radio gold what Urge Overkill did for classic rock: pay homage while at the same time reshaping it into something totally original, with a totally new sensibility and a kind of twisted interpretation that, perhaps, might well have been there all along if only you had noticed. Compare, to cite just one example, “Menopause Man” (performed excellently on the recent 4AD session) on “Before Today” with that old Rupert Holmes song “Him.” And notice, basically, that any of the characters from either of those two videos could switch to the other and fit right in.

All of these people who say that “Before Today” is a great and thoroughly enjoyable album have it exactly right: this is a superb collection of songs, many of which have benefited from the extra polishing that they’ve received going from earlier versions to the ones presented here, from a truly creative force. Definitely one of the very best albums of 2010 so far.

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