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Album Review: Ariel Pink - pom pom

12 November 2014 | 11:15 am | Roshan Clerke

"If you’re after some earworms to mix in your beetlejuice, pom pom is an entertaining listen."

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Los Angeles-based recording artist Ariel Pink only gets weirder on his latest release, pom pom, which continues to blur the line between impenetrable solipsism and catchy pop writing.

At times it’s so invasive and creepy that surely Robin Thicke would be proud of him. Other times it’s as pleasant and enjoyable as an evening stroll through the park.

This double album takes a good 68 minutes to wade through, during which time Pink traverses his usual outré-pop territory and more. Put Your Number In My Phone is a sunny slice of saccharine soliloquy, bordering on nonsense. Plastic Raincoats In The Pig Parade is similarly absurd and upbeat in disposition. Goth Bomb is a ridiculously frantic and terrifically kitsch addition to your next Halloween playlist, while Dinosaur Carebears, well, the title speaks for itself.

The camp qualities and grotesque imagery of Black Ballerina highlight the album’s main appeal and also its most divisive quality. Pink aims for such an overwhelming of the senses that it often feels as iff the album’s excesses exist purely for their own sake; you have to wonder whether he even knows what half of these lyrics mean. The overall effect has pom pom often feeling similar to a purposely lo-fi Hollywood film that has paid large amounts of money to look like an indie film; it aims for cult and novelty status, yet never transcends its own silliness.

At the end of the day, it lacks any substance or sincerity. Nevertheless, if you’re after some earworms to mix in your beetlejuice, pom pom is an entertaining listen.