Mature Themes

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

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 37
  2. Negative: 2 out of 37
Buy On
  1. Aug 31, 2012
    Mature Themes just reveals more levels with more listening.
  2. Aug 31, 2012
    Overall, despite the fact that Mature Themes pushes into some very abstract pop territory, it is a very compelling listen.
  3. Aug 31, 2012
    Mature Themes is as vital as anything he's ever recorded.
  4. Aug 31, 2012
    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.
  5. Sep 10, 2012
    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.
  6. Aug 31, 2012
    Mature Themes is more detailed, more developed, more everything than its predecessor. It's nauseating and beautiful, troubling and hilarious.
  7. Aug 31, 2012
    Mature Themes is Ariel Pink in glorious hi-fi for the first time. Finally, he sounds sharp, shiny and alive.
  8. 70
    It's a hardcore record from a top-shelf kind of a guy, but the work of a unique mind.
  9. Aug 31, 2012
    It will likely infuriate as many as it delights, but no one could dispute the singularity of Pink's vision.
  10. Aug 31, 2012
    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.
  11. Aug 31, 2012
    The pink-slime pop of Mature Themes is made to epoxy itself to your ears for days on end.
  12. 70
    Mature Themes is definitely bonkers, and it's also the quintessential tapestry of hi-fi genius.
  13. Aug 31, 2012
    Mature Themes is another satisfying step in Ariel Pink's evolution--an album as melodically, hypnotically addictive and surprisingly danceable as it is arcane.
  14. Aug 31, 2012
    Mature Themes lives up to what's promised on the tin, but only relatively so.
  15. Sep 12, 2012
    Listening to the album, the weirdness is never off-putting, and the pop elements don't feel like concessions to a wider audience.
  16. Magnet
    Sep 5, 2012
    There's no "Cinnamon Girl's" here, but "Farewell American Primitive" and "Only In My Dreams" breathe the same catchy air. [#90, p.53]
  17. Aug 31, 2012
    Mature Themes celebrates many of his favourite artists, but it is not an homage to anyone or anything. That is its great achievement.
  18. Aug 31, 2012
    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.
  19. Aug 31, 2012
    A bit of editing and self-control, and this could have been one of the albums of the year.
  20. Aug 31, 2012
    Simply put, Themes is Pink at his most vivid.
  21. Aug 31, 2012
    Even if at times the album can be quite esoteric despite its pop veneer, there is a purity of expression that is addictive.
  22. The Wire
    Oct 3, 2012
    Ariel Pink's writing is completely scattergun, but this is what can make it so disarming. [Sep 2012, p.56]
  23. Aug 31, 2012
    Mature Themes is paced with brilliance.
  24. Aug 31, 2012
    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
    A perfectly-crafted album rich in just about everything.
  26. Mature my patootie--and that's a good thing.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 27 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
    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 »