Album Review: Thurston Moore

[Matador Records]

Thurston Moore's three decades of creative output with Sonic Youth has had such a deep and lasting influence on the minds of alterna-under-indie-punk-noise-lo fi-pop fans (God, that's exhausting just to write), that you have to pay attention when he decides to go it solo.

Demolished Thoughts is the fourth solo album for this founding father of modern day underground rock, and, sonically speaking, it's unlike anything he's done before.

On Demolished Thoughts,Moore goes against type, making use of strings, acoustic guitars and harp, forgoing noise in favour of rich, gentle soundscapes.

Album opener, the spacious, unhurried 'Benediction', sets the tone for the record, meandering along for five beautiful minutes, with strings and other flourishes wandering in and out.

'Circulation' and 'Blood Never Lies' sound like they could've easily been handed over to Sonic Youth and turned into dreamy, swirling noise numbers. But here they're held back and, to great effect, show us that Thurston Moore's solo writing stands up just as well when stripped back to only an acoustic guitar.

My favourite track? 'Orchard Street'. It does the album's best Velvet Underground and Nico impression, with a moment of crazy, frantic playing, while also showing what a profound influence the Velvet's track 'Heroin' had on the younger Moore's sonic education. Is that a bad thing? Hell. No.

The spirits of Nick Drake, Karen Carpenter, John Cale and Lou Reed float along with Moore throughout Demolished Thoughts, and their influences are treated with respect and warmth––each is honoured rather than rehashed or ripped off.

Include the bonus of a man who can easily be called the coolest Scientologist on the face of the planet––Beck––arranging strings and handling production duties, and you're in for a fine time.

Listening to Demolished Thoughts is akin to lying in the summer sun in a quiet park, closing your eyes and letting the world go by. And honestly, who doesn't like doing that?



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