Dedicated To Bobby Jameson is really a long time coming, considering prior to releasing Before Today (QRO review), Ariel Pink had over five non-label releases in five years. It starts out well enough and is overall very, very sentimentally similar to previous material, though in a positive way, maybe more positive.
More importantly, overall the music is solid, and soulful songs like “Another Weekend” and similarly dramatic “Acting” take it one step further to being great, but the other pieces tend to be a bit repetitively middling electro-pop.
Somewhat disappointingly too, because the songs on pom pom (QRO review) were all truly original, whether you liked them or not. All that said, Pink really does show some growth here, in the aforementioned great songs, which are both unique and emotional soul.
Then there is the truly catchy pop of “Santa’s in the Closet” and metal-goth “Time To Live” and “Revenge of the Iceman”, and some really interesting synth and weirdness from him as usual in “Time to Meet Your God”, “Feels Like Heaven”, and “I Wanna Be Young”. Lastly, “Death Patrol” is kind of a working alternative song, “Do Yourself a Favor” is an alternative downer, and “Bubblegum Dreams” and Dreamdate Narcissist” are just sort of trippy, which is alright.
So all good on that front, Dedicated To Bobby Jameson just isn’t Before Today, pom pom or even as good as his early, self-released work like Scared Famous/FF. Ok, it’s a tough task to live up to, but Ariel has a penchant for being both underachieving and overachieving, so sometimes we hope for the overachieving productivity of his early days. One way or another we can hope for more work like his great songs, because few artists or bands capture the emotional insight into putting up with life that he can.