‘Odditties Sodomies (Vol. 2)’ didn’t need to happen

Monday, October 28, 2019 - 2:49pm

Ariel Pink

Ariel Pink Buy this photo
4AD / Wikimedia Commons

Odditties Sodomies just sounds like it would be the name for a compilation of Ariel Pink’s best previously-recorded yet unreleased tracks. The off-kilter and kitschy Pink has never been known for doing things conventionally, and he certainly isn’t going to start now. The songs on this record were recorded in the days of Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti and afterward. The tracks didn’t have a place on his main releases, so they were all thrown into the Odditties Sodomies series instead.

Unfortunately, it seems these songs may have been left off Pink’s previous releases for a reason. They are far from his best tracks, but that doesn’t mean they’re bad songs by any means. Some of them are quite enjoyable. However, some things just don’t need to be released — some things are best left abandoned on the cutting-room floor.

None of the songs on Oddities Sodomies (Vol. 2) are essential to Pink’s discography, but now that they’ve been brought to life, they adequately augment his already-massive resumé. A few songs, like “Unwritten Law,” a snoozer reminiscent of new wave’s most mundane, and “Chart-Beep,” an alright song with one of the most most blown-out and annoying-sounding synth lines of all time, probably shouldn’t have been unearthed. But for the most part, Oddities Sodomies (Vol. 2), if not superfluous, is a fun, discretionary listen.

However, some songs stand heads and shoulders above the rest. If “Unwritten Law” and “Chart-Beep” are the floor of the ocean, songs like “The Night Has Opened My Eyes” and “Go Go x2” are the Mount Everest and K2s. “This Night Has Opened My Eyes” finds Pink crooning Morrissey-like atop jaunty guitar strums and warm, heart-filling bass. After all, it is a cover of The Smiths song of the same name. However, Pink gives it his own signature lo-fi, antiquated twist, and it sounds great. He took the song and made it his own; it’s an example of a good cover (take notes, Weezer).

“Go Go x2,” though it does not reach the same highs as “This Night Has Opened My Eyes,” deserves to be mentioned in the same breath. It is a strange, passionate song directed to a woman that, for some reason, Pink cannot bring himself to leave. He sheepishly sings all sorts of lines like “I’m crazy for you / What can I do? / I don’t care, walk all over me / Till I’m black and blue.” Despite it’s less-than-pleasant subject matter, “Go Go x2” is a sunny, vibrant-sounding track that is a very welcome addition to Pink’s discography.

Odditties Sodomies (Vol. 2) is just that, a collection of oddities. As listeners, we didn’t need any of these songs, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be enjoyable. The compilation warrants very few repeat listens, but for hardcore fans, it is a nice addition to the collection. Ariel Pink isn’t at his best, but he’s not at his worst. And that’s about all you can ask for with a compilation album of unreleased rarities.