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Album Review
Demolished Thoughts

Demolished Thoughts
by Thurston Moore

Ecstatic Peace / Matador

Review Date
14th June, 2011
Reviewed by
Vincent Michaelsen

Only a few artists around today can boast such impressive career credentials as Thurston Moore. Besides a multitude of releases with Sonic Youth and countless collaborations and works under different monikers, Moore has just released his fourth solo album - Demolished Thoughts. Moore’s move into solo works being no less a flash in a pan than any other part of his career, he’s been in this solo game for the better part of two decades now. Much like the rest of his career, it’s an effort which has evolved over the years whilst holding true to it’s original motives. Demolished Thoughts is a solid album, a record with purpose and one that proves Moore’s continued relevance in today’s music scene.

Demolished Thoughts bears obvious and immediate differences to Moore’s previous work. While the 6 and 12 string guitar focus is a continuation from Trees Outside The Academy, it is interesting to see this used as a basis for the entire album. Without a single interlude or break for some general noise making, Demolished Thoughts is probably one more Moore’s most cohesive albums in current years as it focuses on more traditional song formats. However, the pioneering noise rocker has far from lost his edge. No less sharp or effective Thurston Moore is perhaps more mature, tender even.

Tender is a pretty accurate word to describe much of this album. Demolished Thoughts presents vocals both sedate and dreamy. Album opener ‘Benediction’ very much setting the tone of the record in this respect and lyrically, this track also sets out the predominant theme of the album. As Moore sings “You better hold your love down, and tie her to the ground…But I know better than to let her go” he seems to be expressing a contentedness with love and a fear of loneliness. To much the same effect are the lyrics in ‘In Silver Rain with a Paper Key’ with the repetition of the line “you lost your lover”, and “All he wants is you to love him without shame” from ‘Mina Loy’. After years of avant-garde madness, Moore has taken begun to reflect on things closer to home.

After listening to Demolished Thoughts there’s little surprise to discover that Beck, a long-time collaborator of Moore and fellow alt-rock legend, has taken the producers seat on the album. Beck, who with Sea Change could be said to have written the book on acoustic albums has left his own distinct mark on this record. Largely replacing the drum section with string arrangements gives Demolished Thoughts many of the sonic qualities that made Sea Change so good. Lifting tensions and creating a sense of depth through dramatic turns and changes is what’s so cool about the use of strings; something guitar and vocals could not get away with so easily without altering the overall mood of the track. The long crescendo of violins at the end of ‘Orchard Street’ for example, adds a chaotic intensity to the song which would have come across as overly rocky had it been done with guitars. This collaboration with other musical masterminds like Beck Hansen is one of many signs that Thurston Moore has by no means become the all to familiar greedy front man gone solo. But rather a consummate musician, still seeking to deliver his ideas in yet another form.


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