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R.Stevie Moore...Or Less,
This review is from: Mature Themes (Audio CD)
I have to say I'm not entirely convinced by this album or indeed by Ariel Pink. While this album does sound very good and the songs are quite well written and constructed, I am highly suspicious of them and think they are made a little too well. The reason for this is based on various interviews I've read with Ariel Pink and the overall sound and feel of this album. I suspect that Ariel Pink is at best a very, very good R. Stevie Moore tribute act that has managed to hoodwink a lot of people into thinking he's a musical genius but I can't shake the feeling that most of his schtick is very contrived.
I know that R.Stevie Moore is a big influence on Ariel Pink and I suppose it's inevitible that he will sound like him but this album is basically nothing more than someone doing an impression of R.Stevie Moore, even down to the faux-lo-fi recording of Schnitzel Boogie. I remember reading an interview with Ariel Pink in an August issue of NME where he was spouting various ridiculous lines like "We need more psychopathic rock stars." and "I like hot dogs. I'd do a dog any day. Man's best friend!". The more I read the interview, the more I thought that this is someone trying to say as much weird, wacky and/or controversial things as possible to appear to be more interesting than he actually is, in much the same way that Noel Fielding constantly just blurts out random nonsense (a la Ross Noble, only not as clever) to appear funnier than he actually is.
Sure, much of the interview was probably done tongue-in-cheek and photos of Ariel Pink wearing womens clothes etc may be much the same but he just seems like someone trying to portray himself as weird or wacky when he actually isn't. And because of this I don't entirely believe his music either and it just seems a little too well-thought-out and close to the likes of R.Stevie Moore for it to be nothing more than an homage or love letter to Mr Moore.
The songs on this album do sound good but I'd much rather listen to something more genuine and on this album Ariel Pink doesn't sound like he's being himself and is instead trying to be his hero. More originality please.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 13 Sep 2012 15:39:14 BDT
Paulus the wood gnome says:
I agree with your comments my good man. I heard Aerial before R. stevie, now I can't stomach Aerial, completely unoriginal.
In reply to an earlier post on 20 Dec 2012 02:02:48 GMT
Last edited by the author on 22 Dec 2012 15:48:14 GMT
I'm not familiar with R. Stevie Moore's music (i've heard his named mentioned many times though) but after reading your review I remain unconvinced apropos your accusation about Ariel Pink being completely derivative of him, purely on the basis that you provide scant evidence of Ariel's supposed plagarism. At the risk of sounding patronising "Show don't tell" my friend it's an old writing principle but a good one.
As for the originality of Ariel's music in a more general sense, his whole "shtick" if you like has always been about appropriating kitsch and ostensibly disposable musical subgenres like 70's Am Pop and 80's soft rock and recontextualizing them into something more abstract and challenging, so only in the axiomatic sense is his music derivative imo. That said, your analysis doesn't seem mean spirited in anyway and you're review is pretty well written, so i'll just respectively remain sceptical of your conclusion about Ariel until I discover these songs of R. Stevie Moores that he's shamelessly ripped off ;)
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