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Boomkat Product Review:
It's been great to see R. Stevie Moore getting some long overdue recognition of late - the subject of a recent Wire cover feature and recipient of lavish praise from relatively young pups like Ariel Pink, John Maus and MGMT, all in thrall to his mastery of DIY popcraft and ebulliently don't-give-a-f**k attitude. The generously bearded Nashville eccentric has recently fallen into the orbit of Tim Burgess's thriving O Genesis label (which brought us that recent Nik Colk Void single), and having already furnished the imprint with a couple of 7"s, he now throws open his back catalogue - spanning 35 years and hundreds upon hundreds of songs - for Burgess to assemble a "kind of best of" available on vinyl and digital. A leaner, more accessible selection than Ariel Pink's uber-limited cassette comp of last year (Pink's Picks), Lo Fi Hi Fives demonstrates exactly why RSM is held in such high regard: for all the talk of DIY and lo-fi, the songs Burgess has zoned in on are beautifully composed and recorded, with a clarity of sound and richness of instrumentation that any big-league studio would be happy with: check 'Pop Music' and 'Why Should I Love You', the former a sulltry, brass-inflected psych miniature, the latter a zinging power-pop anthem that once in your head, will never, ever come out. More eerie constructions like 'Big Mistake' and the drum machine and synth-led 'Dutch Me' hint at a darkness latent in the otherwise ostensibly sunny Moore worldview, while 'Here Comes Summer Again' deserves special mention for attempting to pastiche Pete Sounds and succeeding - with glorious harmonies and a twinkling arrangement that'd make Brian Wilson proud. Twisted humour, old-fashioned romanticism and an unflinching belief in the power of song to make sense of life: these are the things that make R. Stevie Moore great, and they're beautifully represented on this unmissable compilation. If you're new to his work, it really is the perfect introduction.