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Before Today Vinyl LP

4ADSKU lp-8990

high-fidelity oddball pop masterpiece
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  • Lab Overview
  • 🔊Tracklist
  • Review & Q+A
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Lab Overview

Ariel Pink’s signing to 4AD and subsequent embrace of hi-fi studio recording, plus the inclusion of his touring band in the studio, was a sugary sucker punch to his fans and the indie music press alike. As of 2010, every Haunted Graffiti release to date consisted of Pink’s home-recorded smudged guitar and synth arrangements coupled with his own beatboxed ‘mouth drums,’ all cut to 4 and 8-track cassette. The Doldrums, Worn Copy, and House Arrest all have their own peculiar genius, but nothing comes close to the life-affirming vocal harmonies of “Bright Lit Blue Skies” and “Round And Round” (tfw the chorus hits… unrivaled) beaming out in high fidelity. Almost every song on Before Today is an update of deep cuts originally recorded during Pink’s prolific songwriting period of the early 00s. B-sides from Oddities Sodomies (“Round And Round,” “L’estat,” “Little Wig”), Scared Famous (“Beverly Kills”) and Grandes Exitos (“Can’t Hear My Eyes,” “Revolution’s A Lie”) get the pro studio update required to appropriately showcase their brilliance. The entire A side is flawless: “Hot Body Rub” sets the tone, similar to the front cover scene with sleazy street corner sax creeping through the fog, before launching into a saccharine cover of The Rockin’ Ramrods’ 1966 garage pop gem “Bright Lit Blue Skies,” and you know you’re not in Kansas anymore. “L’estat” touches on Haunted Graffiti circa House Arrest with an unpredictable suite of proggy chord changes and movements that shift between slow, fast, quiet and loud (this is the sleeper cut that gets in your head after you’ve rinsed out all the big singles). “Fright Night” is a dreamy new wave roller that wears Ariel’s love for The Cure on its sleeve, showcasing his entire suitcase of oddball characters and weird voices trading bars like Rae & Ghost on Cuban Linx. “Beverly Kills” is the most obvious dancefloor banger on offer, with Ariel channeling The Bee Gees via haphazardly rolling a joint riding shotgun with the song’s titular character cruising Sunset Blvd. And let’s not forget “Round And Round,” an update of an older rarity (originally titled “Frontman,” from Odditties Sodomies) and easily a top 3 (or 1) Ariel Pink song. This year's Dedicated To Bobby Jameson certainly proved he's still got it, but Before Today is the one you’ll show your kids. Highly recommended.

  • printed insert with lyrics
  • digital download included
  • music label: 4AD 2010
reviewed by Yung Pilot Astray 09/2017
UPC: 652637301519


Review & Q+A


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