Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - Mature Themes
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Mature Themes is both his most accomplished album and some of Ariel Pink's most twistedly immature music. As on Before Today, the album's sound is just a shade clearer than what came before it, and his backing band Haunted Graffiti's tight musicianship provides the perfect foil for Pink's stream-of-consciousness sprawl. But while Mature Themes' conceptual glue makes it more cohesive than all of his previous work put together, glorious randomness abounds: not many artists would interrupt a song to order food at a drive-thru, as Pink does on the rhapsodic "Schnitzel Boogie," or write a song about being bros with a legendary seer, as he does on "Nostradamus and Me," one of his more ecstatically drifting pieces of chillwave. As always, Pink's lyrics are densely knotted with wordplay and innuendo; his fondness for sound effects approaches Spike Jones levels, and his fondness for dropping violent imagery into his songs makes them all the more jarring and surreal, as on "Is This the Best Spot," where G-spots and H-bombs go hand in hand.