If you're in the game of guessing what Ariel Pink will do next, you'd be quite used to getting things wrong. The cult LA artist is a master of the unexpected - a highly original and also elusive songwriter who continues to inspire and surprise with every release. Early recordings found a home on Animal Collective's Paw Tracks label, comprising crafty collages of loops and tape noise and pop melodies that both recalled outsider masterpieces of the '60s '70s and '80s, and also sounded like nothing else on earth. They set the tone for a career that's been marked by invention, and reinvention. We've seen collaborative releases with artists like Weyes Blood, R Stevie Moore, and John Maus among many others. We've heard perfect pop songs on labels like 4AD as well as wilfully obscure studio experiments and obtuse stream-of-consciousness comedy skits.The latest album features some of the best of all those many worlds, a sincere tribute to the artist Bobby Jameson whose work Ariel discovered following the release of 2014's Pom Pom. Songs are loosely based on the narrative of Bobby's life which was marked by success (opening for the Beach Boys, playing with Frank Zappa and receiving support from the Rolling Stones) but also sadness and the struggle for proper recognition. Ariel has a gift for deceptively complex arrangements and melodies that sound timeless and totally new, and here offers some of his most immediate and addictive material to date. The closing number features a collaboration with kindred spirit Dam Funk, a supremely catchy funk-infused coda.
Dedicated to Bobby Jameson