R. Stevie Moore

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Every so often, R. Stevie Moore seems to recharge his creative batteries by recording an album heavy on covers, as if drawing new inspiration from his remarkably varied range of influences. It's not entirely unlikely that an artist would cover Public Image Ltd. (twice, including an outstanding, dub-heavy version of "Poptones" with Moore's wife Krystyna Olsiewicz on lead vocals), the Ramones, and the Buzzcocks on the same album. However, only Moore would throw in credible versions of songs by Crosby, Stills & Nash, fringe jazz legend Raymond Scott, Brenda Lee, Johann Sebastian Bach, and sunshine pop exemplars Spanky & Our Gang (an utterly irony-free version of the protest song "Give a Damn") as well. Other highlights including the opening rave-up "Jessika Cane," featuring overdubbed freakout guitars by Chris Butler, the delightfully bizarre "Cork Apple Jar," featuring lead vocals by the real Jessica Kane, a fellow New Jersey eccentric with a baby-talk voice and an apparent fascination with the vocal stylings of Meredith Monk and Yoko Ono, and the sublime vintage electronica of "Nothing," which sounds oddly reminiscent of some of Moore's mid-'70s work while also sounding entirely of a piece with the sort of thing Stereolab and Pram were currently doing.