JAD FAIR / R. STEVIE MOORE
CD - $9.00 (
A wild and wooly bedroom pop adventure from our old pal Jad Fair & R. Stevie Moore. 21 songs that you'll cherish for life!
"Utterly poppy and slightly twisted at the same time...the best album Fair has been involved with since the heyday of Half Japanese."
- All Music Guide
""A lovely, heartfelt effort that shows both in top form."
- The Brooklyn Rail
"... So along comes FairMoore. Recorded with fellow eccentric R. Stevie Moore it is, according to the liner notes, "21 beautiful songs for you to love and cherish." And while all 21 tracks are not beautiful, I do cherish this record's cheerful oddness, it's unabashed romanticism, and Jad's (I don't know him, but calling him Fair seems far too formal) ability to unselfconsciously revel in the smallest pleasures. There is a childlike quality to this music that, despite Jad's age (late fortysomething), is more endearingly idiosyncratic than, say, Michael Jackson's arrested prepubesence. While FairMoore will never move units like the King of Pop once did, there won't be another record released this year with such nakedly confessional lyrics like: "All the good that goodness has brought / sunshine and chocolate donuts" or "Chocolate bars for our last meal / What do you say / Banana peel?" Mmmmm, chocolate. Now there's an anodyne for anomie.
Dispensing with a backing band for this record, Jad enlists the considerable talents of R. Stevie Moore who contributes sonic textures that accentuate atmosphere and mood: programmed drums, synths, keyboards, his own unobtrusive guitar and bass, samples (along with the occasional looped percussion track from Jad), make FairMoore challenging, but in a relaxed, understated way. In fact the sound and feel of this record suggests that Jad's next step might be working with DJs. I'd love to hear Shadow, Qbert, or Mix Master Mike cut, scratch, drop break beats, and create an aural collage over which Jad could, well, be Jad. This kind of experimentation suits his songwriting style; one that veers from tightly constructed pop to almost wholly improvisatory ruminations (e.g., "Caramel Kisses," "That That is This").
Too often, Jad has been described as "avant" something-or-other. While I can understand the use of this terminology, with it comes the notion that his music is somehow difficult. Nothing could be further from the truth. FairMoore, even at its most "out", is full of uncomplicated pop songs expressing unabashed (and unashamed) feelings. Over a decade ago I wrote that Jad's work displayed "an emotional directness, unselfconscious (almost hokey) charm and warmth, and a genial simplicity". Nothing he has done in the last decade has made me second-guess writing those words."
- Pop Matters