R. Stevie Moore - Afterlife - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

R. Stevie Moore - Afterlife

by Ljubinko Zivkovic Rating:10 Release Date:2019-02-22
R. Stevie Moore - Afterlife
R. Stevie Moore - Afterlife

Who is practically the inventor and the king of lo-fi but also the artist who hates that term? It is a guy who started his self-made production back in 1969, is revered by many, recorded with a range of artists who play everything from the true pop/rock like Jason Falkner to eccentrics like Jad Fair and who has even more releases than Howe Gelb under his name.

I’m sure a lot of people reading this have heard of R. Stevie Moore, but never really had a chance to give him a real listen. And yes, it is him in the above paragraph, he’s 67 and currently not exactly in good health, and his latest album Afterlife is a real chance to hear his music properly.

While Moore, son of a Nashville session legend Bob Moore, has made practically all of his music in his makeshift home studios in Nashville, and later New Jersey, he recently stated that he hates the term lo-fi, preferring the ‘do it yourself’ concept. Fine with me, but it is really him who is the progenitor and creator of the whole concept of lo-fi, bedroom pop, or whatever you want to call it. And when I mentioned Falkner and Fair as his collaborators, this covers exactly the type of music Moore comes up with, the stuff that the likes of XTC’s Andy Partridge would be glad he has written - real, true pop, that has all the quirks, pops and changes that make it exceptional.

Yes, it is all pieces of music Moore picked up from The Beatles, The Move, early Mothers of Invention, The Beach Boys, and whatever else he liked, cut them into tiny bits and pieces tossed them up in the air and then collected them and placed them in the order they fell to the ground in his cellar studio. Just like The Beatles did with “For the Benefit of Mr. Kite” on “Sgt’. Pepper’s”.

The difference with Afterlife and why it should make a difference is the fact that it is a collection of songs Moore wrote throughout his career, but this time re-recorded in ‘big studio conditions’ in the prolonged period from 2006 to 2013. But instead of just going through the motions of simply re-recording previous material, Moore tries to re-make most of them and adapt them to new conditions.

Trying to pick something that is better from stuff that is already brilliant is practically impossible in these 50 or so minutes of music, relatively brief by R. Stevie Moore standards.

So, while it is, on one hand, a perfect introduction for those that are not familiar with Moore’s expansive catalog, the real fans are not short-changed either, giving them a chance to hear nuances in Moore’s excellent melodies that they didn’t previously notice. Frankly, quite essential.

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Thanks for the review. I agree with the 10 rating. Right up there with (and probably surpassing) his old classic albums like " Teenage Spectacular " and "Glad Music".

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