Thurston Moore - Benediction
Thurston Moore keeps thing relatively simple and direct on this much-anticipated, Beck-produced third solo record. "Benediction" features mostly acoustic, East Asian-tinged instrumentals, with hints of Eugene Chadbourne's picking style. The result is effectively hypnotic, if not varied. Majestic has always been a word-one of the many-used to describe Moore when he plugs in. Here, without amps, he still manages to create that vibe.
"Lord Chestefield," (two versions that bookend the record) "Triple Moine" and "Malheur 6" seem of a piece of the same track, as do a couple others, all having an insistent, meditative Indian feel. The more noisy, atonal Cahdbourne-y stuff comes late in the disc, especially the harmonics & hacking done on "Popperings Hommel" and "Moinette Bilogque." Beck, as producer, keeps things clean and sharp, with a slight drawing room echo that helps many of the lines reverberate back on themselves.
Thurston Moore has been consistently fearless in his pursuit of tonal epiphanies, whether with Sonic Youth, noise improvs or covers of Yoko Ono. "Benediction" is the latest session of exploration. While not as compelling as some of his other work, it allows Moore to bring to the acoustic guitar the same sense of power and wonder of his electric work. It is minimal in its rhythms and themes, but what is here satisfies.
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