x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Thurston Moore: Demolished Thoughts

Former Sonic Youth singer Thurston Moore offers a solo album of unusual beauty.

Matador
****

With bountiful strings and hushed vocals, Thurston Moore's solo releases tend to be far gentler affairs than anything the New York musician has created with his band Sonic Youth.

So the news that the singer had enlisted the raggedy troubadour Beck Hansen to produce his third record hinted at a change of direction. Best known for distorted guitars, clattering drums and megaphone vocal effects, surely Beck would pull Moore's delicate solo sound into another sonic arena altogether?

Well, no. Demolished Thoughts picks up where Moore's last record, 2007's Trees Outside the Academy, left off, with laid-back folk melodies and soaring violins. But while that album featured Dinosaur Jr's J Mascis's fuzzed-out lead guitar, this is entirely acoustic with the sound further enriched with a harp and mandolin on a number of tracks. At nearly seven minutes long, the 12-string rush of Space features Moore taking his time like never before, only rousing himself to utter a few lines in the song. Illuminine has shades of Nick Drake about it, while Blood Never Lies is reminiscent of Beck's own acoustic sideline, Sea Change. Although the album owes a debt to several folk greats, Moore's atmospheric compositions are never anything but beautiful.

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