The title of Thurston Moore’s new album, 'Demolished Thoughts' is apparently a reference to a song by The Faith, a Washington DC hardcore outfit from the 80’s. But there’s nothing hardcore about the album, produced by Beck and featuring Samara Lubelski on violin, Mary Lattimore on harp and Beck Hansen himself on various instruments, alongside others.
Instead, it’s an acoustic workout that captures at various points a Sonic Youth Unplugged In The Style of 'Murray Street' vibe, which, by the way, is a serious compliment. 'Circulation', 'Orchard Street', 'In Silver Rain With A Paper Key' and others make up a nicely done, and intimate collection of Thurston Moore’s personal songs. They’re all love songs of one sort or another and their emotional punch is weighted by the choice of lead instrument and the production approaches which make each song distinctive but part of a coherent collection.
Thurston Moore is a by now legendary figure who has stayed relevant by taking his craft seriously and by not taking his audience for granted. Yet his work is never quite as earnest as it might have been, because he also has an evident joy in everything he does. Here, his subject seems to matter to him quite a lot and the album celebrates the diverse aspects of one-on-one relationships without losing a certain and important grittiness. I reviewed the free download release of 'Benediction', which is the opening track, a while back and the same ambiguity of lyrical content applies to the album as a whole.
For a deeper insight into each of the songs, I can’t match the description Thurston Moore himself provides on the Matador website. All in all, it’s an entertaining album, although it is hard to know whether the artist or the music is the primary reason for listening to it.
The best songs are definitely jewels in their own right ('January', 'Illumine') and I think the live performances will be really worth seeing, but overall, I think it’s an album for the already enlisted Thurston Moore fan. As such, for me it falls a bit short of the standard set by his previous solo recording, 2007’s outstanding 'Trees Outside The Academy', which means it’s still pretty good without being essential.
FREE DOWNLOAD: Thurston Moore - 'Circulation' (courtesy of Matador)
'Demolished Thoughts' is available to purchase at your local retailer, Amazon.co.uk, iTunes etc.