Personnel: Thurston Moore (guitar, bass, vocals), Tim Foljahn (guitar), Steve Shelley (drums).
Engineers: John Siket (tracks 1-7, 9-13); Lee Ranaldo (tracks 8, 14); Ed Douglas (track 15).
Recorded at Sear Sound, Magic Shop and Sonic Youth Rehearsal Studio, New York from 1994-1995.
All songs written by Thurston Moore.
The fourth album-side contains bonus tracks previously unavailable on CD.
It was inevitable that Thurston Moore's first solo offering would sound a bit like Sonic Youth, considering how integral his guitar playing and singing are to the band's sound. What is surprising about Psychic Hearts is how Moore twists his standard lexicon of detatched vocals, dissonant guitar lines, and deliberately obscure musical/lyrical references into something resembling pop music, which is something Sonic Youth has rarely been able to achieve. Fourteen of the album's 15 tracks are built around concise, angular guitar hooks complemented by Moore's unashamed, nearly melodic vocals. "Elegy for All the Dead Rock Stars" is a 20-minute instrumental, which is measured and evenly paced, surging toward a gentle conclusion. Psychic Hearts displays a softer, more reflective side of a musician known for his passion for disguising his emotions and ideas in noise. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Rolling Stone (6/1/95, pp.60-61) - 3.5 Stars - Very Good - "...as a cohesive statement of purpose, as confirmation that [Thurston] Moore remains committed to experimental music and fascinated by the precarious relationship between high and low art, PSYCHIC HEARTS offers hope for an endangered species: genuine alternative rock..."
Spin (6/95, pp.100-101) - 6 - Reasonably Good - "...finds Sonic Youth's fanzine boy starting to settle into a comfortable, cultured paunchiness....Moore's phrasing has become so casually acute, that it's actually seductive to hear him vamp beatnik poetry..."
Uncut (p.122) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[I]t's storming in places, particularly the white-hot 'Hang Out'..."
Alternative Press (8/95, p.92) - "...a low-key, minimalist pop record devoted to trash culture..."
The Wire (p.63) - "[The closing track] equals the lingering, plangent impression of Sonic Youth's finest moments."
Option (7-8/95, p.122) - "...freed from SY's democratic constraints, Moore has made an album that's leaner, tighter and more consistent that any since DAYDREAM NATION...Moore is Sonic Youth's rock'n'roll soul, the one most adept at finding the balance between punk attitude and teen populism..."