Essential New Music: Ariel Pink’s “Dedicated To Bobby Jameson”

L.A.’s Ariel Rosenberg gives great, ur-gauche pastiche; he remains a pop perfectionist and illusionist. Dedicated To Bobby Jameson reintroduces the billowing murk 2014’s pom pom was missing, and—with the arguable exception of engorged prog opener “Time To Meet Your God”—continues that album’s less-provocative lyrical streak. Rosenberg’s muse, happily, cannot be contained. So “Another Weekend” is a dazed late-’70s bummer for abandoned campground karaoke, “Acting” infiltrates a late-’80s R&B interlude, and the lush “Kitchen Witch” campaigns for some imaginary disco roller-rink crown. Impossibly, Rosenberg’s artistry still feels mysterious, unknowable, capable of surprise. By now, we damn well know that earworms like the dank, peppy title track and denim-buttoned clapper “Bubblegum Dreams” are firmly within his stylistic wheelhouse—and yet they never fail to startle, to dazzle, to charm.

—Raymond Cummings