- 01. I WANT YOU IN MY LIFE (2:21)
- 02. THE MOST POWERFUL STATEMENT IN HISTORY (6:26)
- 03. EVERYTHING (2:56) VIDEO
- 04. FEISTY SCHOOLMARM (3:03)
- 05. PLEDGE YOUR MONEY (2:56)
- 06. SPLEM JEAGUE 3 (1:20)
- 07. I'M BORED (3:17)
- 08. THERE IS NO GOD IN AMERICA (part 1) (3:08)
- 09. THERE IS NO GOD IN AMERICA (part 2) (1:40)
- 10. THE CRYSTAL CHANDELIER (5:30)
- 11. STEVE (3:11)
- 12. DEFEATING THE PURPOSE (live) (1:41)
- 13. JUST A LITTLE KID (:27)
- 14. CURIOUSLY ENOUGH (excerpt)/
KALEIDOSCOPICS (excerpt) (4:37)
- 15. I SEE STARS (4:35)
- 16. WHO DESERVES IT? (3:25)
WHEN A paranoid lets his blue bats loose in your living room, there aren't many options available. One can either impale the stroppy mammals on a stake of blunt words or let the vermin slurp at your jugular of expectation. Suck here...
Hands filthy with flaky cement left by eccentric attempts to demolish and restructure the architecture of corporate American pop, R. Stevie Moore is a singular noise manipulator and certainly one of modern music's prime exhibitionists.
Some artist shroud intimacy behind a scarlet curtain of titillating metaphors. Mr. Moore is totally the opposite; he's like the person who strips off at a funeral and hollers, "You think that stiff's got problems?"
To my knowledge, no other musician has ever chronicled everyday physical and emotional activities in such detail as Stevie. If he feels the urge to masturbate (not here, incidentally), eat, sleep, defecate, or go shopping, he writes a song about it.
Irrespective of bedroom recording quality, embarrassment factor, or aesthetic worth, Mr. Moore usually spurts his work out via his cassette club and occasional albums such as Verve, his first proper British release. Like living, Verve is supremely erratic and that is its main attraction. It sounds by burns soothing and annoying, astute and dumb, developed and retarded, funny and sick.
I believe this man is almost off his trolley, and if he didn't have a creative outlet for his fears Stevie would need an iced bath and a cattle prod in the genitals. Mr. Moore is the son of Scotty (sic), Elvis Presley's guitar player. He is very insecure and looking for lost blue bats.
AMG REVIEW: Most of R. Stevie Moore's vinyl and CD releases focus on the more accessible songs from his humungous collection of self-released cassettes. 1985's Verve, on the other hand, is one of Moore's strangest albums, setting a few choice pop tunes against some of the most abrasively experimental material the New Jersey-based one-man band has ever recorded. The mix does a good job of showing the extremes of Moore's range, but it largely neglects the middle area, those songs that are catchy and odd in equal doses, where the artist has always done his best work. Some of the titles may look familiar, but the versions of "I Want You in My Life" and "Steve" are not repeats from 1976's Phonography and 1977's A Swing And a Miss, but are more recent, weirder, and noisier re-recordings. However, compared to total freakouts like "Feisty Schoolmarm," a bizarre monologue delivered against a martial drumbeat, and the inexplicable tape manipulation experiment "Splem Jeague 3," even the manic "Pledge Your Money," a breathless demand for financial support of New Jersey's legendary freeform radio station WFMU, and "I'm Bored," a folksy acoustic song nearly buried under an amount of tape hiss Guided By Voices might find excessive, sound like the Dave Clark Five. There are gems here, like the genuinely trippy "The Most Powerful Statement In History," which sounds like Head-era Monkees filtered through Brian Eno's mixing board, the ultra-bouncy "Everything," and the pulsating new wave guitar rock of "I See Stars." Even some of the more experimental tracks hold a certain fascination, particularly the deliciously strange vocal harmonies of the closing "Who Deserves It," but overall, Verve is largely incoherent and rather self-indulgent. The original cassettes would probably better serve even casual R. Stevie Moore fans.
—Stewart Mason, All Music Guide (2001)
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