Thurston Moore - Demolished Thoughts

Demolished Thoughts, fourth solo album from Sonic Youth front man Thurston Moore, is a sumptuous collection of minimalist acoustic songs bristling with a lyrical brilliance. Produced by Beck, the production is stripped bare with just Moore's acoustic guitar and straight-forward delivery. With Samara Lubelski's violin accompanying him, Moore's compositions take the listener on a journey through his deepest thoughts and secrets. Populated by a ghostly cast of characters, the subtle power of the music enchants like a spell.

'Benediction', inspired by a film of a girl reading a love letter written in the back of a hymnal "where only she could find it", is stunning in its utter simplicity. The tune is mournful and sad, the wistful lyrics depicting a love imagined but never fulfilled: "Whisper I love you one thousand times into his ear / Kiss his eyes and don't you cry girl he won’t disappear / But I know better than to let you go." 'Illuminine' follows along on a similar vein: Moore's hushed vocals, Lubelski's lush violin. But don't think this No Wave punk God has gone completely soft and corduroy, songs like 'Circulation' and 'Mina Loy' (named after the modernist writer) have an urgency and angst to them to rival any of Moore's previous work - the fervent guitar strumming coupled with the shrill siren call of the violin give the songs a dark and disturbing feel.

The beautiful 'Blood Never Lies' is a sheer delight, dreamy and soft with Lubelski and harpist Mary Lattimore adding rays of light to Moore's dark husky voice: "And you know he never lets you leave /His blood is clear, it never lies / No, blood never lies." Other songs, like the beautiful 'Space' (which goes on for three minutes before Moore utters a word) and seven minute 'Orchard Street' have a John Cale/Lou Reed feel - simple acoustic guitar, violin and Moore's matter-of-face delivery. The album ends with 'January' written "as a birthday greeting to a new day, and to a girl on roller skates in a prison stripe bathing suit." The tune takes its time, slowly building to its denouement: "He sees her sleeping on the grass / I think I heard a distant splash / In July she came to play / By January he learns to pray." Then the dreamy music ends abruptly, like the final splash of a mermaid's tail.

Whether it is with seminal day job or his numerous side projects and collaborations, Thurston Moore never fails to astonish and entertain - all the while holding on to his vision. Demolished Thoughts is yet another winning chapter in this man's remarkable career.

Overall

8

out of 10

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