R. Stevie Moore

Crises

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Balanced skillfully between R. Stevie Moore's experimental and pop-oriented tendencies, 1983's Crises never tips too far in either direction. Even pop songs like the heartbroken "I Thought You Loved Me" and the subversively sweet-sounding "There Is No God in America" have an austere, chilly quality to their execution, culminating in a version of the Irving Berlin standard "What'll I Do?" that starts out with a heavily processed chorus of Stevie performing the song in a relatively straightforward, albeit slightly robotic style, only to be overwhelmed and eventually supplanted by an increasingly atonal series of tape-manipulated squonks. Similarly, the various instrumentals titled "Crisis" or "Crises" are atmospheric but relatively straightforward, not nearly as experimental as many of Stevie's similar excursions. Moore's '80s tendency to remake his older songs in completely different arrangements is here represented by "I Won't Chew in My Life," an acoustic version of 1975's bouncy "I Want You in My Life" tricked out with some psychedelic synth interjections and space rock drones.

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