REVIEW: Thurston Moore – “Demolished Thoughts”

Thurston Moore / Demolished Thoughts / Matador

After refraining from releasing a solo album for over a decade, Sonic Youth frontman Thurston Moore turned more than a few heads with his 2007 Trees Outside The Academy. It kept a prohibition on the sneers and noisy experimentation of the New York alt-rock group and stood on its own as a solid, lyrically driven, melodic album. It was a fusion of acoustic coffee shop open mic poetry, an ever present string section and a couple truly bitching J Mascis guitar solos. On Moore’s follow-up, Demolished Thoughts, the move toward a more peaceful melodic sound is all the more pronounced. The rock drums and lead guitar that turned up sparingly on Trees become even more rare on Thoughts, in favour of a more dynamic string ensemble and a trademark raw-strummed acoustic sound that carries whole verses under Moore’s whispered confessions.

In terms of thematic consistency, Thoughts is a success. On the elegant dreamy echoes of “In Silver Rain With A Paper Key”, one gets a pretty good indication of the mood Moore is in as both a maturing artist and as an emotional being. Same goes for the lead single “Benediction”. However, choices he’s made on the album unavoidably result in a sleepier sound that may take a while for fans of the more experimental side of Trees and Sonic Youth to warm up to. Still, Moore’s sense of musical adventure is not gone; as the aptly named “Space” proves, it’s just a little more nuanced and reserved.

Download: “Benediction”, “Space”

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