Before TodayAlbum |
Longtime underground hero steps into the marketplace.
After nearly a decade and a half of underground cassette and CD-r releases and several years' worth of small-label CDs and vinyl procured mostly from those homemade tapes, it's tempting to call Ariel Pink's 4AD Records debut his graduation into the indiepop mainstream. But aside from a minor sonic upgrade and an equivalent decrease in aimless, noodly tangents, Before Today is entirely of a piece with the prior work by southern California's answer to R. Stevie Moore. Indeed, several of these 12 songs are re-recordings of previously released material; ironically, "Can't Hear My Eyes" is presented here in a considerably less slick version than the single released a couple years ago at the height of the ironic "yacht rock" revival. Newcomers might as well start here as anywhere else: if this brand of scrappy lo-fi noise with nods to post-punk synth pop and mellow '70s soft rock appeals -- and many tracks, particularly first single "Round and Round" and "Fright Night (Nevermore)," are indeed quite appealing -- then there's plenty more where this came from.