Album Review: "By The Fire" by Thurston Moore (9/10)

Distributed by: Daydream Library Series

Producers: Eva Prinz, Paul Epworth

Sonic Youth co-founder Thurston Moore delivers a heady magnum opus here, genetically recombining and expanding his signature sounds to new heights. Almost half the compositions top the 10-minute mark, and feature oblique instrumental passages suddenly morphing into beautiful vocal sections, and vice versa. The band is tight, and a new keyboardist adds some nice textures. Moore conjures soundscapes that can bring to mind wind over sheets of ice, or travels through a subway tunnel, and the lyrics work as poetry even without the music. One of the year’s best releases.