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Demolished Thoughts (Bonus Track Version)

Thurston Moore

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Album Review

Though it’s somewhat surprising Thurston Moore and Beck didn’t work together prior to Demolished Thoughts, their collaboration lives up to its promise, delivering an album of psychedelic chamber folk that is the perfect meeting of both artists’ mellow sides. At times, Beck the producer feels like a junior version of his longtime collaborator Nigel Godrich — and indeed, Beck brings some of the expansive intricacy of works like Sea Change to this set — but here he’s truly accomplished, embellishing Moore’s songs with special effects that really are special. “Illuminine”'s rippling harps and sparkling electronics conjure a vast, dusky twilight filled with fireflies, while the strings and layers of other sounds on “Blood Never Lies” float along like pieces of dandelion fluff. These filigrees add a beauty that doesn’t get in the way of Moore’s strumming and melodies, whether they’re angular or flowing, or both, as is the case with “Mina Loy”'s descending drones. Beck also adds a trippy depth to Demolished Thoughts that is often breathtaking, particularly on “Circulation,” a tone poem about vinyl that grows from atonal acoustic riffing into a sound-world of sawing, strafing strings, and on “In the Silver Rain with a Paper Key”'s meditative shimmer. This approach is a big change from Moore’s previous solo effort, the much more down-to-earth Trees Outside the Academy, which felt like a more distinct entity from Moore's work with Sonic Youth. In some ways, Demolished Thoughts' size and polish rivals anything he’s done with them, and it’s hard not to hear echoes of the band on several of these songs. “Benediction” opens the album with the kind of pastoral ruminations Moore has been dabbling in since Washing Machine, albeit given an extra glow thanks to the hypnotic layers of percussion, keyboards, and strings woven throughout. Meanwhile, “Orchard Street”'s stream-of-consciousness evocation of New York feels like it’s just down the block from Murray St. Of course, it’s hardly bad or surprising that Moore’s work resembles itself, especially not when the results are this compelling.

Biography

Born: 25 July 1958 in Coral Gables, FL

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Although a key member of the critically acclaimed art/punk rock band Sonic Youth, Thurston Moore has also been involved in numerous side projects, including the Dim Stars with Richard Hell and Even Worse. His first solo album, Psychic Hearts (recorded during and immediately after his wife and Sonic Youth bassist Kim Gordon's pregnancy in 1994), with ex-Half Japanese guitarist Tim Foljahn and Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley, had an appropriately offhand feel but was far from sloppy. Along with carrying...
Full bio

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