To pigeonhole an artist like Thurston Moore would be to tragically overlook his seemingly endless list of releases, collaborators and projects. Produced by Beck Hansen, Moore’s most recent release, Demolished Thoughts, is a true testament to his daunting musical genius: This is an album presented with the unyielding confidence and finesse of a true veteran mastermind. The tone is mellower than I expected – even more so than 2007 release, Trees Outside the Academy – dwelling mostly in the melancholy reservation that so wholly inhabits Hansen’s own Sea Change (2002).
Production on this album is both flawless and absolutely vital. Though Moore has enormous potential, he still writes within relative creative proximity to his days with Sonic Youth and with this record’s stripped-down acoustic instrumentation, his songs run a high risk of feeling incomplete or unfulfilled. This is a challenge effortlessly overcome with beautifully simple violin (Samara Lubelski) and harp (Mary Lattimore) lines in conjunction with patient and tasteful drums, bass and acoustic guitars. The emanating soundscapes seem to hold as much potency as the lyrics themselves; a democracy clearly illustrated by lengthy instrumental sections, most notably on “Blood Never Lies” and “Mina Loy”.
Tracks such as “Circulation” are rife with tension and elegance that play off each other endlessly to rare and exquisite effect while more effortless songs like “Benediction” provide comforting gratification through satisfying composition. Beck’s production is admirable in that it allows the stronger titles such as “In Silver Rain With A Paper Key” and “January” – songs that can clearly stand on their own – the freedom to exist without becoming weighted down or overly complicated. Simultaneously, some of the albums weaker tracks, such as “Illuminine” and “Orchard Street” both benefit enormously and rely heavily on Hansen’s creative contributions.
It’s hard to imagine this record – these songs – in any other incarnation. Composition and disposition work together impeccably to construct a sincerely unique experience, far removed from anything I’ve ever heard. Demolished Thoughts is quite possibly the most fantastical release in his enduring career and is, without a doubt, a record worthy of study and admiration.
Tags: acoustic, album, Beck, Demolished, Gordon, Hansen, indie, Kim, Lee, Moore, Ranaldo, Record, Release, review, Reviews, SONIC YOUTH, Thoughts, Thurston