R. Stevie Moore

Warning: R. Stevie Moore

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Like all of Moore's albums, this is a self-performed, self-produced, homemade release. While the sound here is sometimes tinny or muffled and the performing in places in haphazardly executed, there is a certain basement-brewed charm and cleverness afoot here that makes this record quite listenable. Highlights include "Jailbait," twhich sounds like a classic raw black blues number, complete with soundalike vocals and funky lyrics, but without the use of blues chordal progressions; the swallowed-up production values here help contribute to the illusion that this song was culled from a 1930s breakable 78. "Alicea" is an eccentric uptempo song with clear nods to White Album-era Beatles and the Bonzo Dog Band. "Whereabouts" is an acoustic country-pop tune with whining falsetto vocals that sometimes veer into out-of-tuneness. "Manufacturers" is a funky, almost danceable number full of chordal and arrangement surprises that has ironically cretinous lyrics delivered in a Barry White-style voice. There are two covers here, the better one being "Diary," the sentimental 1970s ditty by Bread; this comes off as a hilarious parody owing partly to the additions of a drum machine track, strangely timed crashing cymbals, and an earnestly exaggerated vocal delivery -- a real hoot. This is an inconsistent, if unusual and sometimes fun record to listen to.

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