• Record Label: 4AD
  • Release Date: Aug 21, 2012
Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 37
  2. Negative: 2 out of 37
  1. Mature my patootie--and that's a good thing.
  2. Aug 31, 2012
    91
    With such impressive versatility and broad musical perspective, Mature Themes is Pink's best album to date, and sets an invigorating, expansive tone for his work to come.
  3. Aug 31, 2012
    90
    A perfectly-crafted album rich in just about everything.
  4. Aug 31, 2012
    88
    Mature Themes is paced with brilliance.
  5. Aug 31, 2012
    85
    Mature Themes is as vital as anything he's ever recorded.
  6. Oct 3, 2012
    80
    Ariel Pink's writing is completely scattergun, but this is what can make it so disarming. [Sep 2012, p.56]
  7. Sep 12, 2012
    80
    Listening to the album, the weirdness is never off-putting, and the pop elements don't feel like concessions to a wider audience.
  8. Sep 5, 2012
    80
    There's no "Cinnamon Girl's" here, but "Farewell American Primitive" and "Only In My Dreams" breathe the same catchy air. [#90, p.53]
  9. Aug 31, 2012
    80
    Simply put, Themes is Pink at his most vivid.
  10. Aug 31, 2012
    80
    Even if at times the album can be quite esoteric despite its pop veneer, there is a purity of expression that is addictive.
  11. Aug 31, 2012
    80
    Mature Themes celebrates many of his favourite artists, but it is not an homage to anyone or anything. That is its great achievement.
  12. Aug 31, 2012
    80
    The pink-slime pop of Mature Themes is made to epoxy itself to your ears for days on end.
  13. Aug 31, 2012
    80
    It will likely infuriate as many as it delights, but no one could dispute the singularity of Pink's vision.
  14. Aug 31, 2012
    80
    Mature Themes is Ariel Pink in glorious hi-fi for the first time. Finally, he sounds sharp, shiny and alive.
  15. Aug 31, 2012
    80
    Mature Themes just reveals more levels with more listening.
  16. Aug 31, 2012
    80
    Mature Themes is more detailed, more developed, more everything than its predecessor. It's nauseating and beautiful, troubling and hilarious.
  17. Aug 31, 2012
    72
    Mature Themes is another satisfying step in Ariel Pink's evolution--an album as melodically, hypnotically addictive and surprisingly danceable as it is arcane.
  18. Sep 10, 2012
    70
    After years of weird-ass bedroom recordings, Ariel Pink has upgraded his operation, and what he loses in stoner burble, he gains in high-def Sixties flashback triggers.
  19. Aug 31, 2012
    70
    If there's any cohesion here, it's the realization that it all emerges from the brain of one man who runs his vision through various filters.
  20. Aug 31, 2012
    70
    A bit of editing and self-control, and this could have been one of the albums of the year.
  21. Aug 31, 2012
    70
    Mature Themes lives up to what's promised on the tin, but only relatively so.
  22. 70
    It's a hardcore record from a top-shelf kind of a guy, but the work of a unique mind.
  23. Aug 31, 2012
    70
    Overall, despite the fact that Mature Themes pushes into some very abstract pop territory, it is a very compelling listen.
  24. Aug 31, 2012
    70
    The album has a swampy, overheated feel, which takes some of the impact away from its sharper moments but enhances its more languid stretches.
  25. Aug 31, 2012
    70
    The irony is that Mature Themes, full of nonsense and wonderful ideas, further cements his reputation as one of the more vital voices of his generation.
  26. 70
    Mature Themes is definitely bonkers, and it's also the quintessential tapestry of hi-fi genius.
  27. Aug 31, 2012
    60
    The smooth edges of Mature Themes doesn't mean this music is any easier to grasp. [Sep 2012, p.86]
  28. Aug 31, 2012
    60
    The mainstream looks a long way off again from here. [Sep 2012, p.97]
  29. Aug 31, 2012
    60
    Pink's weirdness is a major part of his appeal. It just requires a lot of patience.
  30. Aug 31, 2012
    60
    Ultimately it just makes for frustrating listening.
  31. Aug 31, 2012
    60
    What you get, then, is an album that may have a sonic breadth, but really only two sides: one of sweet pop tunes, and one of strange goof-offs.
  32. Aug 31, 2012
    50
    Not good, bad or disappointing, but frustrating.
  33. Aug 31, 2012
    40
    Ultimately, the overall feeling of Mature Themes is of a band and songwriter that don't really care. So why should we?
  34. 40
    The results are simply irritating, in so many ways.
  35. Aug 31, 2012
    40
    It's another tiring exercise from an artist who may never tire of releasing such proudly hideous messes.
  36. Aug 31, 2012
    30
    Ultimately, this is a celebration, rather than an analysis, of several species of awfulness.
  37. Aug 31, 2012
    20
    Mature Themes is simple self-indulgence and that's rarely worth listening to.
User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 26 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Sep 4, 2012
    9
    On his first outing since 2010 breakthrough Before Today and first album of all new material in years, LA's Ariel Pink has proven himself aOn his first outing since 2010 breakthrough Before Today and first album of all new material in years, LA's Ariel Pink has proven himself a compelling songwriter currently carrying the outsider music torch once held by Captain Beefheart and Tom Waits. While not necessarily a breathtaking knockout like Before Today, Mature Themes is a fantastic work of art void of any dull moments. Even weaker tracks (not many here) are worth listening to based on interesting and at times bizarre songwriting and composition. High points include bookend tracks Kinski Assassin and Baby, single Only In My Dreams, the odd yet hard to forget Schnitzel Boogie, and the soft rock meets Elvis Costello pop gem title track. Full Review »