R. Stevie Moore

Objectivity

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The first in a projected series of three releases, R. Stevie Moore and Yukio Yung's Objectivity features some of Moore's best work in years. Although the D.I.Y. pioneer has worked on his own for almost all of his prolific career, he quite often blooms when paired with a collaborator who can edit his occasional tendency toward self-indulgence. Yung also provides new settings for Moore's always-sharp skills as a pop songwriter; amusingly, the best tracks on the whole album, the clanging rocker "Love Is Dead, Pal" and the snotty power popper "I Like My Life," have their genesis in exercises for rhythm guitarists that Yung (in his day job as Terry Burrows, a prolific author of guitar- and keyboard-instruction manuals) had recorded for the instructional CD included with one of his books, over which Moore lets rip with some of his most spirited vocals and vitriolic lyrics in ages. Other highlights include Yung's two vocal showcases, a haunting new version of Moore's 1978 ballad "Norway" and an absolutely chilling take on Robert Wyatt's "God Song" given a simple bass-and-vibes setting, and the dreamy "Where We Are Right Now," with its lead vocals by Moore's wife, Krystyna Olsiewicz, a bald-faced Stereolab homage which shows that unlike many musicians of his generation, R. Stevie Moore has kept at least some interest in new developments. The only problem with Objectivity is that its supposed pair of follow-ups never showed up.

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