|Andrew W. Griffin|
Photo of the cover of Thurston Moore's new disc "Demolished Thoughts"
By Andrew W. Griffin
Red Dirt Report, editor
Posted: June 15, 2011
CD REVIEW: Thurston Moore – Demolished Thoughts (Matador) 2011
As I was waking up this morning to come into my office and review Thurston Moore’s latest solo disc, Demolished Thoughts, it was playing in the CD player as if an invisible finger had pushed “play.” It was on song 8, “Space,” a beautifully alien song that conjures up thoughts of Jimmy Page at his folkiest.
Sings Moore: “Forbidden visions, etched in stone / Makes no difference to my death wish ray / Hearts get broken every day / Your undying lover is here and gone”
Should I blame it on the cats? Sure, it was the cats. It’s not that the music of Thurston Moore and his band Sonic Youth have an eerie edge to them that goes back to their earliest days as an art-punk band. No, couldn’t be that. A ghost, maybe? A space traveler? Perhaps that would explain the UFO on the album cover.
A mystery, to be sure. The album, which is an improvement over Moore’s last album, Trees Outside the Academy, was produced by alt-folkie Beck Hansen and the overall results are appealing to this longtime SY and Thurston fan.
And while Demolished Thoughts is not the revelation that ’95’s Psychic Hearts was (nothing on the level of “Elegy for All the Dead Rock Stars”), it’s an accomplishment for an avant garde artist who has been hard at work for three-plus decades now.
Opener “Benediction,” complete with strings and subdued brushes-on-snare comes across as a ballad that only Thurston Moore can pull off.
One of the songs I could imagine fitting easily on a Sonic Youth album would be the more muscular acoustic feel of “Circulation” a song that has a strangely violent atmosphere about it. Moore, on acoustic guitar strums heavily on the strings as drummer Joey Waronker (Beck, R.E.M., Elliott Smith, etc.) keeps a shaky beat.
“Blood Never Lies” complete with violin and harp from Samara Lubelski and Mary Lattimore, respectively, meanders in an acoustic bliss and lyrical haze that works on what is really a classically-oriented composition.
The suburban odyssey of “Orchard Street” has stripped-down echoes of Goo period Sonic Youth (think “Dirty Boots”).
On “In Silver Rain With a Paper Key,” Moore seems to be channeling the acoustic beauty – dreamy, distant vocals, to boot - that would occasionally bubble up during the early 1970’s prog-rock period. Remember Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s “Lucky Man”? Not that prog, please understand, but I think you know where I’m going.
“January,” which closes out Demolished Thoughts, is simple poetry put to music, with the words not coming into until past the two-minute mark.
Those looking for feedback-drenched soundscapes should move on, or at least give this album a chance. Yes, there is a same-ness to a lot of these tracks. It’s best to listen to it from beginning to end and let the acoustic lushness of the songs wash over you.
Grade - BCopyright 2011 West Marie Media