March 23, 2011

Song Review: Thurston Moore's "Benediction"


Noise rock luminary, Thurston Moore, is known foremost as the frontman for Sonic Youth, closely followed by his many, many experimental jaunts and finally, every once in a blue moon -- a proper solo artist. When the latter identity rejoins the music world, it's always interesting to see what facet of sound Moore embraces. The indie godfather teamed up with longtime friend and fellow alternative posterboy, Beck, to produce what we're assuming is his most polished and quietest effort to date, Demolished Thoughts. The first track, "Benediction," is evidence of that as it's the LP's fragile acoustic opener. If you've paid attention to Beck's recent work (2002's Serge Gainsbourg-inspired Sea Change, for instance, or producing Gainsbourg's daughter, Charlotte's 2010 album, IRM,) you've realized Mr. Hansen has a knack for decomposing noise into something equally complex and melodic. "Benediction" is just that: Somber with a slight hint of misplaced happiness as Moore's vocals glide their way through in slow motion, like it's soundtracking the pivotal scene from any Wes Anderson or Noah Baumbach film where the main character nearly takes his or her life. As advertised, it truly is both "beautiful and brooding." The addition of Samara Lubelski's violin and the small touch of drums fading in at the 3:30 mark directs the track away from being too monochromatic. As naked as "Benediction" may sound, producer Beck ensures the beauty doesn't outshine the detail -- A happy medium of sorts for Thurston Moore's noisy coat of arms.

Thurston Moore – “Benediction”

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