Lovebuzz: Thurston Moore

Finally catching up with the Thurston Moore solo album Demolished Thoughts, released a couple months ago, I was first struck by how well producer Beck Hansen, shaping the best corrective to his own soporific Sea Change, arranges the kind of string arrangements which can rumble like thunderclaps, accompany a melody line played by Moore’s acoustic guitar (“Mina Loy”), or swoop in like birds of prey at the sight of carrion (“Circulation”). Beck and Moore are on to something here: they’ve recorded the American version of a late sixties Caetano Veloso record, with Moore whispering romantic goop as if screaming skulls and Lydia Lunch duets were the childish things he hid in the attic with the KISS dolls (on “Mina Loy” the closing refrain is actually “without shame”) — or maybe he just discovered the Dean Wareham of 2002’s Romantica. Not enough “Catholic Block” in this here thing, though (“Would you like to fuck?”); lethargy often cripples Moore’s melodies. Without the power of the full Sonic Youth behind him, these sweet nothings dissolve into a prettiness that occasionally rises to the contemplative heights of A Thousand Leaves‘ “Hits of Sunshine” — a contemplation of the object so intense that it acquires a spiritual dimension. “Illuminine” rises to that level: a kinder version of 2006’s “Incinerate” that isn’t gentler.

As for Beck, he’s next heard producing Steve Malkmus and the Jicks’ Mirror Traffic.

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