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Ariel Pinks Haunted Graffiti Before

Ariel Pink has, with almost no regret, left lo-fi in the dust. After over 14 years of releasing singles, tapes, EPs, records and CDs of music all in varying stages of audio decay, Pink has released his first professional studio album with the big-indie label 4AD. Instead of the fuzzed out bedroom recordings of the past, this record features pop songs which on a first listen are almost indistinguishable from their referent. Pink has not fully abandoned the roughness of past recordings but there is a cleanness here that hints at new aesthetic horizons for him.  Musically, Before Today is still roughly the same; songs that sound like b-sides to the Top 40 records of the late 70s and early 80s played in discos and skating rinks around the US. Conjuring up images of velour, glamor shots and soft focus it is nostalgic, warm and instantly appealing. However, in addition to the cleaned up sound quality, Pink seems to have nurtured these 12 little gems more than his previous pieces. Each song endures a variety of music changes, with rich sounds layered lovingly to make some of the most decadent pop songs of the year. Put on your velvet bell-bottoms and take this record out on the dance floor, I promise you won’t regret it.
DJ Mandy