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R. Stevie Moore - Personal Appeal

  by Maarten Schiethart

published: 18 / 9 / 2013

R. Stevie Moore - Personal Appeal
Label: Care in the Community Recordings
Format: CD


Excellent compilation from underrated and lo-fi singer-songwriter R. Stevie Moore, which impressively remasters his back catalogue

An unrecognized mother of invention, R. Stevie Moore's music met with initial praise from the Paris punk label New Rose, who released several of his LPs from 1986 onwards. 'Personal Appeal' is the first album of his in recent years to do justice to his music, without annoying surface noise and pseudo indie lo-fi sounds. Too New England and British to his compatriot East Coast American audience, R. Stevie Moore's music went by unnoticed for decades. In the past his laconic, even phlegmatic wit caught many on the other side of the Big Pond on the backfoot. The selection of tracks on 'Personal Appeal' serves to perfectly portray R. Stevie Moore's masterful idiosyncratic musicianship. Stripped of all distortion and noise, many little gems reach the surface. A waltzing soul searching that melts with a country music twang on a few songs gently drags this album to greater heights. The snare-picking in 'Quarter Peep Show' in particular sets a balance between fabulous furry freakiness and sarcastic disdain. The hillbilly 'Pretend for a Second that You are Very Intelligent' track is perhaps too infested with irony, but after decades of complete ignorance, and as the track is followed by 'Forecast' which messes up parts of Mud's 'Tigerfeet' in inimitable style, all should be forgiven to R. Stevie Moore. His style and sarcasm have equally infected the cassette type of the original recordings, which now shines soundly from a silvery CD. The hissing tape hiccups remain, but injustice to the original recording was never intentional. This leads us to fully enjoy an album of R. Stevie Moore's, given the opportunities offered by today’s technology. Playing tricks on the ear with his words and music, and bringing back in mind Frank Zappa, Moondog, Brian Wilson and Robert Wyatt, there are snippets of popular classics, eventually resulting in the crazed tombola song 'Copy Me'. Unfinished little symphonies notwithstanding, 'Personal Appeal' sums up assembled chunks from an impressive recording history. This is a document to an almost entirely forgotten side of an era. The opening song 'Why Can't I Write a Hit?' sums up it up. "The songs are all too weird" Moore whispers that catchy tune. Well, they were, but not any longer.

Track Listing:-
1 Why Can't I Write a Hit?
2 Makeup Shakeup
3 Old
4 Structure of Love
5 The Picture
6 Quarter Peep Show
7 I've Begun to Fall in Love
8 Pretend for a Second That You Are Very Intelligent
9 Forecast
10 No Body
11 Man Without a Purpose
12 Treat Me
13 What We Did
14 Copy Me
15 I'm Sorry but Goodnight

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