13 Songs, 48 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Ariel Pink rose to indie prominence with a wry, murky take on '70s AM radio pop—like a beach party imagined by someone who had never left the house. Fleshed out by a full band and more conventional production, Before Today was the moment Pink peeked out from the underground—a cleaner but no less fascinating version of the perverted pop he’d been making on his own for years. At the album’s heart is “Round and Round,” whose melancholic, “Billie Jean”-style strut breaks through the clouds and into an after-school sing-along.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Ariel Pink rose to indie prominence with a wry, murky take on '70s AM radio pop—like a beach party imagined by someone who had never left the house. Fleshed out by a full band and more conventional production, Before Today was the moment Pink peeked out from the underground—a cleaner but no less fascinating version of the perverted pop he’d been making on his own for years. At the album’s heart is “Round and Round,” whose melancholic, “Billie Jean”-style strut breaks through the clouds and into an after-school sing-along.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.4 out of 5
179 Ratings

179 Ratings

Unmedicated Eddie ,

Yay for Ariel Pink

I have as much outright contempt for the people who say all they ever listen to is new music on principle as I do for people who only listen to "old stuff." Ariel Pink should set either one of those parties straight.

On this album, he is simply taking the sort of '70s pop-rock formula used by bands like Chicago, Boston, and the Atlanta Rhythm Section and merging it with a dying DIY aesthetic, stripping it to the bone and replacing studio polish with all manner of outsider weirdness. While this album doesn't quite match his earlier work (The Doldrums) in terms of sheer beauty or emotional starkness, it's still a great album, and one of my favorite indie albums of 2010 so far.

30GallonTank ,

An open debate

I'm as much of a music geek as most the people here who have reviewed this album. Most people who have reviewed this album are also already Ariel Pink fans. I will admit that this is his most accessible album to date. There are several songs on here that are pop gems. But, as a whole? I disagree. "Round and Round," the lead single, in my opinion is a mess. The disjointed time changes act more like a song within a song, and don't truly hold together as one composition to me. I'm glad to see he's upping his production value a little bit though. I just feel that lo-fi recording for the sake of being lo-fi is kind of pointless. Guided By Voices, for example, recorded on 4 and 8-track because that was all they had available to them in the late 80s. It then just became their staple sound moving into the 90s. When artists record using that method today, I find it more pretentious. If the technology is available to you, which it is today, use it. I guess I'm rambling. Again, I'm not trying to hate on the guy's talent. I think he's an artist. I just don't dig it as much as everyone else. To each his own.

jaeone ,

Mehhh...

it's just the best release of the year. A brilliant masterpiece from start to finish. Big cheers, big cheers.

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