THURSDAY, MAY 19, 2011|
Posted by: Matt Howard
Thurston Moore's impact on indie music parallels Emerson's influence on American literature, and his appointment of Beck, as his Thoreau, to produce his forthcoming solo-album, Demolished Thoughts, replicates an instance of spectacular, sonic Transcendentalism. For you laymans, it's as if Superman and Batman joined forces. Moore, however, has relinquished his Sonic Youth, radical tuning, and replaced it with chordal precision. Ranked 34th in Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time", there's little shock surrounding the excellence of his latest acoustic endeavor.
Both Moore and Beck have made sonic explorations alternative to their defining sounds. Moore, who founded unconventional rock noise, has ventured into a realm of sterility, which is equally divine. Much of Demolished Thoughts closely resembles Beck's delve into folk tenderness on Sea Change. But where Beck focused heavily on the emotive mission of his vocals, Moore chooses to epitomize the poignancy of the chordophone. In addition to his acoustic strings, the album includes violinist, Samara Lubelski, and harpist, Mary Lattimore. The orchestral impression extracts a delicacy that is comparable to the impact of his earliest tearing riffs.
Although Moore's vocals are not emphasized as heavily as string melodies, they do enrich the tones sensitivity. Many tracks don't introduce the artist's voice until the halfway mark, and this intensifies anticipation for his iconic whisper. The two-minute, instrumental opening of "Blood Never Lies" is complimented by Moore's concluding utterances. The album is romantically charged with melancholic, lyrical themes. Opening track, "Benediction", contains passionate verses like, "Whisper, 'I love you my darling/But life is just a fling.'"
"Circulation" is recognized as the standout track on Demolished Thoughts. Moore's urging vocals, and rapid rips at his acoustic strings contrast the endearing heft of orchestral arrangement. Its prowess is notably due to its heightened level of energy in comparison to other songs. The slower tunes are also worthy of praise. "Orchard Street" is evocative of the disposition of a gloomy, REM hymnal. Though absent of riot in its entirety, the album maintains elements of sonic enlightenment.
Demolished Thoughts demonstrates Moore's exceptional artistic talents. Nothing less than extraordinary was anticipated from his production partnership with Beck. Expectations are clearly met, and the illustration of Thurston's placidity is beautifully surreal.