Lo-fi indie is essentially defined by the sound of Ariel Pink. His unique approach to the genre has given it a lot of character over his career, and he hasn't stopped his aesthetic, however, Ariel Pink loses sense of direction in Dedicated To Bobby Johnson, his latest record.
Everything you expect from Pink is going on in this record. Nonchalant delivery and floating synths are the basis of his music, taking precedence in 'Time To Meet Your God,' the very first track. The dark tone of the lyrics is contrasted by the mysterious sound of the instrumental, though nothing too full, because of the lo-fi aesthetic. That theme plays throughout the album, many songs like 'Death Patrol' and 'Feels Like Heaven' having pretty dark connotations masked in the curious and cute instrumentals.
The problem with Dedicated To Bobby Johnson is that it feels like Ariel Pink dives a little too deep into the sound. Previous efforts had an astute creativity to them. This record just feels like it's missing an element of that. The lo-fi sound brings a risk, which is not having a really "full" sound in it. Previous efforts had a good balance of when to approach things with a focus on sounding grabbing and tangible, while Dedicated To Bobby Jameson sounds like it's always just beyond being able to be reached. Nothing hits as it could, which is a real shame.
Ariel Pink loses sense of direction in Dedicated To Bobby Jameson, the music not having much of a punch to it and a lot of it coming off as a little empty. There's having an aesthetic, but there's also making something that'll hit you and keep you grounded in the music. That's where Ariel Pink loses his sight on this record.
Favorite Track: Time To Meet Your God
Least Favorite Tracks: Do Yourself A Favor, Acting
Rating: 68 / 100
Stream or buy Dedicated To Bobby Jameson on Apple Music: