Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti - Mature Themes
Attempt to be transgressive comes across as creepy and misogynistic
Mature Themes? Hardly. Ariel Pink’s latest offers a callow take on gender and sexuality. Pink seems to think that talking about ‘beta male revenge’ (chicks dig ‘sensitive’ guys, runs the sleazy logic) and singing about being a ‘lesbian’ constitutes some radical act of genderfucking, and this wrong-headedness is compounded by his use of transphobic language (‘bogus shemales on meth’ anyone?) and the misogyny, however ironic, of tracks like the charmless Kraftwerk rip-off ‘Symphony of the Nymph’.
Far from being transgressive, Pink’s sweaty-palmed evocations of alternative LA just come across as creepy. As for the music, it’s irritatingly arch, lacking the memorable tunes of previous albums, with all the punch taken out of Haunted Graffiti’s sophisticated Hall & Oates-go-synthpop grooves.