From the title of the album to songs like "Fuckin' Idiots Everywhere" and "Why Do You Hate Me So Much?," the tone of 1994's Unpopular Singer, Vols. 1 & 2 shows just how fed up R. Stevie Moore was with the music business by the early '90s. After two decades of banging his head against an indifferent industry and a creatively successful but commercially unsatisfying stint with the French label New Rose, Moore seems like he's on the verge of giving up entirely here. Musically, it's harder-edged than is usual for Moore, with noisier and more feedback-laden guitars laid over more aggressive rhythm sections (often, as on the thumping "Bladder (What Shall I Do?)," with a new electronic sheen), matching the often peevish lyrical tone. It's not surprising that one of the people the album is dedicated to is the recently deceased Kurt Cobain; parts of the album, like the corrosive "How 'Bout Writin' Me a Goddam Song?," are as aggrieved as Nirvana's In Utero. Elsewhere, however, there's the jaunty instrumental "Pencil Eraser," the Beck-like folk-rocker "Outpatient," the intriguing sample-based instrumentals "Inset One" and "Inset Two and Three," the dreamily pretty and lyrically goofy "Sex Wants Me," and an extended take on "Here Comes Bob," a popular early favorite by Moore's heroes Sparks. The moments of levity and melodic lightness leaven what would otherwise be a dark and difficult listen.
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AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason