R. Stevie Moore

Aviation

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Aviation is something of a companion piece to Instrumentality, R. Stevie Moore's other all-instrumental 1976 effort, but where the earlier album was a stylistically and emotionally varied collection that covered a lot of thematic ground, Aviation is much more of a piece. Not quite a concept album, Aviation is built around a series of lengthy, impressionistic, synthesizer-based instrumentals all given airplane-related titles. The overall effect is akin to some of Camel's similarly thematic mid-'70s albums. The mood is broken -- or the pace is enjoyably changed, depending on one's tolerance for proggy-'70s instrumental excursions -- by a wild-eyed, noisy remake of "Am I Gonna Cry," one of Moore's best early rockers, and the album's only vocal piece. (The CD reissue of the album adds a bonus live version of "Am I Gonna Cry" recorded in April 1977 with Moore's longtime associate Billy Anderson on vocals.) Aviation's highlight is "Hijacker's Dance," a 12-minute workout that features some outstanding, Zappa-like electric guitar solos and a funky electric piano rhythm.

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