Thursday, December 18, 2014

Album Review: Thurston Moore- The Best Day

Thurston Moore
The Best Day
*** out of *****
With a self titled release and a picture of his mother on the cover it would be easy to guess that Thurston Moore would be continuing with his acoustic based introspective solo project work on The Best Day, but here instead he offers a Sonic Youth-light effort that affirms he can still make glorious noise, but doesn't showcase anything new from the legend.

Bringing back into the fold drummer Steve Shelley and adding James Sedwarda and Debbie Googe in the Lee Ranaldo and Kim Gordon roles respectively, Moore has assembled a unit that sounds a lot like his famous one. The music itself on The Best Day plays like copyrighted SY action if not as abrasive and right off the bat the group gets exploratory.
Opener "Speak To The Wild" roles out easily and builds with distinct guitars and a steady beat for over eight plus minutes. "Forevemore" ups the game in the same vein going for almost twelve minutes through different soundscapes of experimental post punk rock. These are the two longest running tracks on the disk and set the tone that the group is not afraid to free up and improvise. They also happen to be the most satisfying overall efforts as the interplay works well.  

After those two run their course the band becomes tighter with the punky "Detonation" and "Vocabularies" before expanding again for the closing combo of the excellent seven minute instrumental "Grace Lake" and "Germs Burn". Musically there is not much different from the later day Sonic Youth it is just the lyrics and vocals that can begin to get stale.

While Sedwards is a great guitar foil and Googe brings her rhythmic noise pedigree from My Bloody Valentine not having Ranaldo and Gordon to vocally change the script can lead to Moore overload. While his vocals have never been his strong point, his lyrics have been very poetic and here nothing really sticks or hits home. The strongest lyrics seem to be regarding mixtape making love on "Tape" as Moore sounds more honest here then repeating "I Want To Love You Forevermore" over and over again.

With Chelsea Light Moving's excellent one off release Moore felt invigorated, aggressive and still expanding his musical and lyrical horizons. Here it sounds like he went back to a safe musical place and one he has visited so often it seems a touch derivative. While longtime fans (present company included) will find solace in the familiar clashing guitars, The Best Day isn't the freshest, something he mentioned his famous band was lacking...not much has changed solo.   
We love Thurston, but this one didn't really speak to us as some of his recent past releases have, even though there isn't much wrong with it, it made us just reach for a SY album.

Anyway, support the artist here, buy the album here and peep some video below:

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