R. Stevie Moore

Teenage Spectacular

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This lengthy album is a generally strong selection of songs boasting a broad array of styles, strikingly unusual and effective chord progressions, wry and clever lyrics, and inventive arrangements. The sound quality and performing level is mostly good, more consistent than in some other of Moore's releases. "Hobbies Galore" is a fine singer-songwriter tune delivered in sighing, echo-drenched vocal manner with acoustic guitar and click-track accompaniment. The whimsical "Blues for Cathy Taylor" exhibits no trace of a blues progression, but does have cunning lyrics sometimes set off-kilter to good effect; the song begins like a thinly twangy R.E.M. number and then turns country-like when the vocals commence. "I Love You Too Much to Bother You" sets creepy-funny lyrics to funky XTC-tinged music. "Everyone, but Everyone" is a lengthy midtempo Todd Rundgren-influenced number. "On the Spot" is a cheezy jazz-lounge blues-progression-based selection complete with "Okay, we're going to take a short break...me and the band will be right back" voice-over. There are five tiny tracks entitled "Non Sequitur" that juxtapose minute snippets of music, voice, sounds, and tape loops like Edgard Varese's Poeme Electronique or "Revolution 9" by the Beatles. Two highly inventive covers also appear. "Who Killed Davey Moore?" uneasily mixes Bob Dylan's muckraking lyrics with an oddly upbeat musical arrangement; the Dr. Hook song "The Cover of 'Rolling Stone'" is done first half a cappella, second half energetic rocker. Despite a few weak tracks, this is a highly recommended release.

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