Reunited with his backing band for The Best Day -- My Bloody Valentine bassist Deb Googe, Nøught guitarist James Sedwards, and longtime drummer Steve Shelley, as well as poet/songwriter Radieux Radio -- Thurston Moore delves even deeper into that album's contemplative, redemptive side on Rock N Roll Consciousness. On songs like the bold yet reverent "Cusp," Moore and company explore spiritual, sexual, and emotional healing on a mystical level. With two tracks stretching beyond the ten-minute mark, Rock N Roll Consciousness' songs are consistently longer than Sonic Youth's output, but they're not just expanded; they're heightened. The band locks in on the most transporting aspects of Moore's music, allowing his deadpan vocals to be the eye of the of the storms surrounding him. Though his delivery gives lyrics like "She is the future and the prophetess" an extra dose of cool, his words mostly function to usher in different movements within each song, which showcase the band's interplay and star turns. Sedwards' work on the New York City love letter "Smoke of Dreams" and "Turn On" (possibly the most Sonic Youth-like track here) reaffirms what a worthy foil he is to Moore. Meanwhile, the album's bookends underscore how impressive the band is as a unit: "Exalted" begins the album with its most varied track, as it moves from hypnotic harmonics to doomy, metal-inspired passages before drifting off on tightly woven guitars, while "Aphrodite" closes it with a standout performance from the rhythm section and some of Moore and Sedwards' most unearthly guitar tones. Another fine addition to his solo work, Rock N Roll Consciousness proves that Moore's search for enlightenment through noise remains vital.
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AllMusic Review by Heather Phares