Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Thurston Moore: "The Best Day" (album review)

Two songs in to The Best Day, the new album from Thurston Moore, and I was ready to dismiss his post-Kim Gordon effort.

The opener, "Speak To the Wild", was very like the tail end of Sonic Youth.  It's a rehash of some of that band's least experimental work.  The 11-minute opus "Forevermore" fared no better, simply trotting along well passed the time it wore out it's welcome.

Finally, on nugget of hope appeared on "Tape".  The song has a strong dustbowl feel to it.  It too, however, managed to linger on too long.

All of a sudden with the title track the record takes a complete 180.  The slow-building song is engaging from the get-go, and churns over and over ending with some fiery guitar licks.  The runaway freight train "Detonation" keeps the momentum going with it's punk rock inspiration.

A sliver of light manages to shine through on "Vocabularies".  Moore manages to take the listener on a thrilling ride with the constantly-shifting instrumental "Grace Lake".  "Gems Burn" is one of his most melodic cuts ever, but he roughs it up with some aggressive vocals.

At one point I was concerned that The Best Day showed that Moore was hitting his AC/DC era (i.e. everything sounds exactly the same), but in the end he ended up with a pretty decent, if not groundbreaking, album.

Best tracks: "The Best Day", "Gems Burn"

Track listing for The Best Day:
  • Speak To the Wild
  • Forevermore
  • Tape
  • The Best Day
  • Detonation
  • Vocabularies
  • Grace Lake
  • Gems Burn

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