Not so much a concept album as a meditation on a theme, Pink Graffiti is (mostly) about Brian Wilson and young people. It's about Brian Wilson and his work as a prism through which we view youthful things. It's about the feelings that start with him getting all mixed up in our feelings for other people and other music (and vice versa). Inspired by a college thesis, changing relationships, and a fateful meeting with the aging once-spokesperson for vibrant youth, Pink Graffiti is a record that uses one artist to anchor and explore a peculiar set of experiences, thoughts and emotions.
By drawing on fractured psych, girl groups and minimalist composers, Secret Cities have conjured a kaleidoscopic, strangely moving whole out of disparate pieces. Distorted loops, drones, and thundering toms underpin distant voices. Pianos are pounded. Grainy acoustic guitars come through like AM transmissions received deep underground. But even as strange sounds and frequencies get pushed out front, the melodies, always and forever, get top billing. From the galloping heartbreak of opener Pink City to the final, cathartic release of The End, Pink Graffiti is pop music turned in on itself, lyrically and musically