I really don't know what to think of the new album. Is this really what he was so proud of? I don't want to criticize him personally, but it's just not what I expected. The music itself is so predictable, and is lacking the charm of his old recordings. I know he's moved on from his old 4-track stuff, but this album just sounds so forced. The lyrics are also so bland that they make me sick. Compare "the warmest color of the dead, the blackest white you've ever red" to shit like "my name is ariel, and I'm a nympho" or "that isn't me, north korea is me."
To be honest the album isn't as horrible as I'm making it out to be. it just isn't THAT good. and it just bums me out that I've listened to his back catalog so much, literally listening to available song a dozen times, and expected him to completely blow me away when he ends up working with high quality, modern equipment. I don't know.
I have to agree with everything you've said. I've given it about 10 listens so far and it's doing nothing for me. What has surprised me most about the songs is their distinct lack of melody and emotion, two things that in the past Ariel has always done so well. The new songs just sound to me like a bunch of aimless half assed B sides. Definitely his weakest album to date.