Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti return with their sophomore effort for 4AD. Following 2010's highly regarded Before Today comes Mature Themes, a return to form of sorts for Ariel & Co. While Before Today found the band cleaning up their act with better (or less gritty) studio recordings and more accessible arrangements, Mature Themes brings back more of the lo-fi weirdness people loved Ariel Pink for in the first place. Influences range from 60's pop to AM radio gold, to lost slow jam gems and 70's psychedelic oddities. It's sort of a mixed bag as styles change from track to track, some retaining the bumpy disco vibe of the last album, while some throw out the beat all together in lieu of droning ambience ("Nostradamus & Me"). However you might feel about Ariel's stuff, one thing is certain - no one else is coming close to making anything that sounds like this! Well worth repeat listens for the open-minded listener.
- NOTE: vinyl edition does not include 'Baby'
- black vinyl pressing
- gatefold sleeve
- music label: 4AD 2012
reviewed by TKB 08/2012