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Ariel My Friend-Other Things

Other Things is a labyrinth—at one point rock, another pop, another classical, another '90s TV sitcom opening credits. Ariel My Friend has crammed his soul into nearly an hour and a half of beautiful chaos. Describing the album as "art-rock-psychedelic-pop-symphonic-indietronica," Ariel My Friend unfolds an ambitious 79-minute journey like a sonic novella, each song a chapter delving into profound introspections and exuberant explorations.

The opening track, "Reverse", immediately encapsulates the album's thematic audacity. Merging 8-bit pop with existential musings, the song slams childlike tones against somber lyrics, crafting an aural backdrop that feels both nostalgic and unsettling. This tonal juxtaposition sets the stage for an album that continuously challenges and delights.

"My Apathy Glue" exemplifies the emotional complexity woven throughout the album. Starting with pulsed piano chords that segue into a grunge-infused rock vibe, the track simulates an auditory awakening. The false ending and subsequent instrumental resurrection metaphorically jolt the listener out of apathy, reaffirming Ariel's intent to not only entertain but provoke thought.

But genre mixing and blending goes to a new level in "Chauvinist Bastard". It's almost like a melodic diss track wrapped in an organ-driven melody. The lyrics sharply critique societal and individual arrogance with biting metaphors like "for the garbage inside you might become wet, alerting everybody's noses so they don't forget who thinks he's superior to anyone around, who has a knack for bringing everyone down."

Perhaps the most absurd (in a good way) piece is "The Transgender Tailor Who Died in Saudi Custody". Opening with a punk rock vibe, it quickly changes to something that would feel at home in an 8-bit Zelda game. Laced with samples from incredibly unlikely places, like a nature documentary narrated by David Attenborough, every twist and turn makes the track a delight to listen to.

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But it's not all fun and games. Ariel My Friend also tackles heavier subject matter. "The Rest You Need" serves as a near-midpoint meditation on modern fatigue. A semi-spoken melodic line laments the always-on, never-stop nature of contemporary life. "The minute hand slaps you across the knuckles as the hour hand pushes your back."

Other Things culminates with "Monkey's Depressed", a track that merges an AI-like voice and absurd storytelling. "Baby is stressed. Monkey's depressed," the chorus repeats. It's as nonsensical and meaning-laden as The Jabberwocky by Lewis Carol. It's an exploration dancing on the delicate balance between sanity and madness in a world brimming with both.

Other Things is a window into the depths of Ariel My Friend's imagination. Sometimes the view is clear, sometimes it's a little smudged, but it's always fun to look into and see what reflects back.

Stream Other Things below and see what you hear.

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