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Colour Me Pink, 2010 Has A New Hero
on 11 June 2010
Ariel Pink (real name: Ariel Marcus Rosenberg) has always been a bit of an outsider. Since the mid-90's he's recorded over 500 songs using only a primitive 8-track, a guitar, casio keyboards, bass and his strangled voice. Three albums worth of this material has been previously released through The Animal Collective's Paw Tracks record label, but here he is with his first 'proper' release (with his own band in tow, no less) 'Before Today'.
Opener 'Hot Body Rub' really sets the tone. It is pure white funk of the Frank Zappa variety. The use of a saxaphone is prominant and Pink's minimal lyrics speak of his great hot tub ('Hot tub, get into my hot tub') before deflaming the mood somewhat ('Hot tub got a disease, Uh spread it in grease'). This pretty much sums the entire album up. On the one hand it sounds like a lost relic from the 80's mainstream (think Hall & Oats on acid) which would have been comfortable on daytime radio and yet a feeling of deprevity surrounds the whole thing, with Pink flippantly talking of drugs, incest and castration. But don't let that put you off for this is a record full to the brim with potential hits. 'Fright Night' with it's 'konck, knock on the door three times/and you knock knock on the door!!!' refrain is pure adrenilin-fuelled lunacy delivered completely irony-free, lead-off single 'Round And Round' with it's 70's languid jazz leanings and grandose vocal arrangements, the 80's hair metal romp that is 'Butthouse Blondies' and the quite frankly show stopping (future hit?) 'Can't Hear My Eyes'.
'Can't Hear My Eyes' is possible the greatest love song that this young century has yet thrown up. Pink delivers some beautiful lines:
'I gotta get a blindfold and close my eyes,
Before I'll get one look at you,
Because I'll see love in a special way,
And I'll see you'
meanwhile the band play the type of smooth-jazz style that surely The Fast Show could have easily mocked. It is one of the finest tracks of the year and in another age it would have been a massive hit.
Overall this is a mighty fine album and if all my talk of 80's jazz is putting you off, please don't let it. This is a record which is firmly sat in the 21st century, it just invokes memories of an age when music was a much more relaxed market place. Right up there with Beach House, Joanna Newsom, Flying Lotus and LCD Soundsytem in the albums-of-the-year-so-far-lists.