Moore’s new solo album is quieter, softer, and gentler than his last solo outing Trees Outside the Academy. With acoustic guitars, violins, and many other muted instruments, the form is simple. Moore’s lyrics are clearly about relationships, including “Circulation” which may be about how much he loves Kim Gordon.
The mood could be described with adjectives that are rarely used about Thurston’s albums or indeed Sonic Youth: soothing and comforting. It’s like having a deeply felt, long conversation with a good friend, who is also a good listener. And it is that which turns Thoughts from sounding like a great follow up to Trees, to something more stunning. His last solo album was great. too. The understated emotions here are sweet and wonderful, usually that wouldn’t be associated with Moore or Sonic Youth. If the album sounds melancholy in places, that just adds to its meaning….kind, loving, caring and even a bit cheery. It’s lovely. [www.matadorrecords.com/mpeg/thurston_moore/thurston_moore_benediction.mp3]
Pala is an excellent updating of the new romantic movement. Duran Duran seems to be the source the band draws on the most. However, Duran Duran wrote better lyrics, whereas Friendly Fires dosen’t cut any deeper than, say ,Naked Eyes. This makes Pala wonderful as light entertainment, and great for the dance floor. So put this on, do the twirl, and just feel good all over. [www.wearefriendlyfires.com]