Album 6 of 500: Thurston Moore – Psychic Hearts

February 28, 2010


A Thurston Moore solo album? Was this the end of Sonic Youth? Most certainly not! Psychic Hearts is Moore’s first solo album with Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley. Rolling Stone writer Mark Kemp reviewed the record and states, “Such gestures offer proof that Thurston Moore is the soul of Sonic Youth.” Granted, Psychic Hearts does sound like a Sonic Youth record, yet one can totally disagree with Thurston Moore being the only soul of Sonic Youth. Sonic Youth shares its vocal talents between three members, which simply means there is no ono soul in Sonic Youth.  One also can debate Psychic Hearts is Moore’s most pop like album. Unlike a Sonic Youth album, this album has a cleaner sound. “Ono Soul”  became an alternative rock hit, and massive video play on MTV’s alternative rock shows.  Coming out the same year as Sonic Youth’s Washing Machine, Psychic Hearts sounds somewhat similar to the sounds of Dirty or Experimental Jet Set. At times, one may ponder if one or two songs are rejects from these two albums, for example “Pretty Bad” or “Blues From Beyond the Grave.”  Psychic Hearts tells tales about self loathing people, which seems very appealing with Sonic Youth’s fanbase, ages 15 to 30.  “Ono Soul” is hauntingly beautiful, and could easily be used for a short film about abandoned asylums.  The self title track, “Psychic Hearts” reaches out to overly confused abused teenage girls.  Psychic Hearts is sort of a dark but great album.  We learn what Thurston Moore is capable of, and what contributes to Sonic Youth. One can say that Psychic Hearts is a Sonic Youth album in a second hand business suit.

A personal note regarding the album: Once during a radio show, I was playing “Ono Soul.”  I got an angry call from a listener asking me if he was listening to a corporate station and not to play such a popular song.  Oddly enough the song had to 11 years old at the time of this phone call. My response was, “But its Thurston Moore”.

RM CRESSER © 2010 500 Rad Records


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