Steve Moore - Beloved Exile - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Steve Moore - Beloved Exile

by Joseph Majsterski Rating:6 Release Date:2019-05-10
Steve Moore - Beloved Exile
Steve Moore - Beloved Exile

Steve Moore is a busy man. Although it has been more than five years since his last proper studio release, 2013's electronic masterpiece Pangaea Ultima, he has been steadily pumping out film soundtracks over the last decade. Unfortunately, while his new album Beloved Exile is solid, his more muted, ambient approach can't quite approach the brilliance of his last release.

The set features a mix of relaxed synth melodies, gentle beats, and plucked strings, thanks in part to Moore's collaboration with singer-songwriter Emel Mathlouthi, harpist Mary Lattimore, and percussionist Jeff Gretz. Opener 'Your Sentries will be Met with Force' has ghostly female vocals wafting about, like an induction into some sort of mystical ceremony. It's pleasant enough but doesn't reach any kind of destination in its wanderings. 'In the Shelter of the Dunes' is even more somnolent, with a harp accompaniment that makes me feel like someone should be feeding me grapes while I listen to it next to a crackling fireplace. Again, it's serene and soothing, but not incredibly compelling.

It's likely the title track is also the best one, with a rich and mellow synth lead that settles deep into your bones and propels you forward. This is the track I find myself coming back to, and one that sticks with me. The journey here is full of engaging permutations. 'Throne Lane' slips back into the same space as 'In the Shelter of the Dunes' again, very slow and calm, with the harp and bimodal synth line working in tandem.

Final track 'My Time Among the Snake Lords', besides having an awesome title, is far and away the longest track, topping out over fifteen minutes, nearly half of the entire length of the five-track set. It makes good use of huge pads to drift along, and works its way through a series of musical vignettes, with a clear intro, centerpiece, and outro. It's almost as worthwhile as the title track, possibly thanks in part to its sheer length, and has a narrative flow lacking from other songs herein.

This EP is like cooling ointment on a burn: it melts away the tension, but rapidly dissolves to nothing. I appreciate what Moore was attempting here, by including an eclectic mix of musicians, but I'd only recommend it for diehard fans of ambient and new age. Check out Pangaea Ultima for a far more interesting experience.

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