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- Delicate Tension by R Stevie Moore
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R Stevie Moore’s impressive back catalogue was recently brought under the spotlight again thanks to collaborations with Ariel Pink and a near-flawless career-spanning anthology on ex-Charlatan Tim Burgess’s O Genesis imprint whose whimsical pop genius won over even the most cynical of music snobs here at Norman Towers. This week three of his classic albums have been reissued and it’s my job to write about this one, 1978’s ‘Delicate Tension’.
The album is a great showcase for R Stevie’s whimsical songwriting, and the production is consistently pretty impressive for what is essentially a one-man album with the exception of about half the drums and a bit of flute playing. The songs range from Buzzcocks-esque punk influenced numbers with lots of fuzzy guitar like ‘Cool Daddio’ and ‘Apropos Joe’, but elsewhere there’s deceptively clever throwaway Beefheartisms, space-age experimentalism and nods to the likes of the Beach Boys, Frank Zappa and Randy Newman and even a blissed out bit of synthpop in ‘I Go Into Your Mind’. I like the absence of gaps between songs, too, although his plea for political correctness ‘Don’t Blame The Niggas’ did make me cringe a little. Overall though this is brilliant. Fans of modern day pseudo-pop weirdos like Ariel Pink and Pete Um will have a field day with these reissues.
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