Ariel Pink - Dedicated to Bobby Jameson Review

Story posted September 20, 2017 in Arts & Entertainment, CommRadio by Jenna Minnig

Three years after releasing the successful Pom Pom album, Ariel Pink came back into the music scene with their most recent release Dedicated to Bobby Jameson on Sept. 15. Based out of Los Angeles, Ariel Pink is a one-man band. That one man is Ariel Marcus Rosenberg. Dedicated to Bobby Jameson holds a unique style for Ariel Pink compared to Pom Pom, which was a very upbeat album.

Although Ariel Pink experiments with a softer, more ambient style, he does not lose the quality which makes him a unique artist: his vocals. The strong vocals incorporated with the meaningful lyrics on Dedicated to Bobby Jameson are what make this album different from others.

Something notable about this record is the title. Bobby Jameson, the subject of the album’s name, was an American singer-songwriter who was briefly recognized in the late 1960s. Although Jameson was successful, he was mostly known for his participation in riot activities more often than he was recognized for his music. The title track acknowledges Jameson’s involvements in the Sunset Strip Riots which took place in 1966. After an unsuccessful advertising campaign ad, Jameson became depressed and never returned to the music world. Dedicated to Bobby Jameson reflects on these unfortunate events.

Ariel Pink relates the life of Bobby Jameson to that of his own on this record. After introducing his music with Worn Copy in 2003, Ariel Pink became another Bobby Jameson in the world of music until Pom Pom was released in 2014. Dedicated to Bobby Jameson is Ariel Pink’s journal to reflect on those years.

The album is collectively a psychedelic pop album characterized with a lo-fi music sound due to his choice to record many of the songs in a studio at home. As for tone, it is mysterious and almost spooky. Many of the tracks on the album such as “Santa’s In the Closet” and “Time To Meet Your God” sound similar to classic Halloween tunes.

There is not just one distinct way to classify Dedicated To Bobby Jameson as a whole album. Many tracks have a heavy tone with loud instruments. However, many tracks also have a softer and less-intimidating sound. “Feels Like Heaven” and “Another Weekend” are two tracks that encompass a 1980s shoegaze style of music. Ariel Pink shows his dream-pop influences most vividly in these tracks.

There are many traces of ‘80s music on the record as that is an era which inspires a large portion of Ariel Pink’s music style. The track “Time To Live” does not contain many lyrics, but it does incorporate synths, keyboards and a frightening tone. The song was inspired by The Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star,” which was released in 1980. The similarities between the two tracks are difficult to ignore.

Dedicated To Bobby Jameson is an overall mellow album for Ariel Pink with heavy influences from the ‘70s and ‘80s. He focused on the sound of the album while also writing songs with lyrical meaning and depth. Ariel Pink has entered the music scene once again with this adventure of an album. 

Rating: 8/10

 

Jenna Minnig is a freshman majoring in journalism. To contact her, email jkm5756@psu.edu.