After years as the quintessential indie outsider, releasing album after album of lo-fi oddities, Ariel Pink is threatening to live up to the pop potential he’s always hinted at. ‘Kinski Assassin’ is a brilliant piece of Doors-y organ psych, and the Byrds-aping lead single ‘Only in My Dreams’ is as clean and direct as any ’60s pop.
But nothing’s simple in the world of Pink, who has the ability to turn a perfectly crafted pop song into something obtuse, difficult and wholly individual – a technique he flaunts across the course of these 13 songs. The end result feels like flipping through AM radio stations while driving through a dead-end US suburb high on prescription drugs. The pop is poppier, but the weird is still very weird indeed.