It’s easy to lose count of how many albums the indefatigable R.Stevie Moore has released so it should be enough to say “here’s his latest aural masterpiece”, Afterlife. And it’s very easy to say he’s delivered another winner.
Coming not too far on the heels of the album he released with Jason Falkner in 2017, this is another of Mr. Moore’s excursions into the art of one-man-band, low-fidelity home recording and brilliant pop observations. That’s the key – he’s a master of melody and pleasing construction that instantly makes you smile and think while listening. Case and point, “Another Day Slips Away” is an observation on the mundane routines of daily life and yet, it isn’t a woeful statement; if anything, it says (to me) that even though time is passing, it’s important to enjoy and savor the little details. “Irony” is chiming, glorious radio-friendly pop – shades of The Beatles, Beach Boys and Big Star color this instantly embraceable track and the simplicity of the guitar solo is completely on-the-one; “Love Is The Way To My Heart” is majestic – something that fits comfortably in that canon of lush, sweet epics like “Surf’s Up” or “Daisy Glaze” where “Hurry Up” is a quirky, rocking piece of chunky goodness – slightly askew but makes you pound along with the rhythm. “Pop Music” sounds like some of the best rock of the ’70’s – piano, sweeping guitars on the opening, stops and starts to emphasizes certain phrases, a horn section and is another shining standout; “The Winner” is a rush of cool acoustic-based wind, carrying you along with a neat (yes, neat) melody and “Here Comes Summer Again” is another ode/nod to the Brian Wilson-style; exquisite keyboards, stellar harmonies in the background and the chorus is right out of the Beach Boys manual of how it’s done (and listen to the middle, especially).
Fourteen songs is a lot to enjoy and devour – and I’ve given you six of the best – but that’s merely my opinion. I might be going out on a limb here but with this album, R. Stevie Moore, in a just world, should have his audience increase tenfold. Afterlife sounds like an artist who’s just getting started, not someone who’s been teaching us for a damned long time. And I’m very glad he’s not slowing down in any way, because music needs him.
Afterlife will be released on Friday, February 22nd, 2019
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