With her latest effort and first for Ryko Disc, Allison Moorer once again blurs the music genre lines with Crows.
The 13-track CD, beautifully produced by R.S. Field, is a polished and distinguished album laden with honest lyrics. Moorer’s signature sultry and soulful vocals are still front and center, but anything you remember from her earlier releases can be thrown to the wayside.
Muscially, Moorer expands her already wide style of music with 1940s jazz club beauty in the opening two tracks “Abalone Sky” and the vivid imagery of “Goodbye to the Ground.”
Her single “The Broken Girl” is an upbeat straight forward pop song, and then the pace slows dramatically with “Should I Be Concerned” with Moorer on piano singing softly, letting the song breathe into a smoldering burn.
As with her prior albums, Moorer shines the brightest when she sings about her storied, yet tragic, choldhood with all sincerity. “Easy in the Summertime” finds Moorer with just her and the piano singing about the hot July Alabama sun in 1981. The song progresses artistically, yet haunting orchastration comes in to accompany Moorer’s perfect piano. Immediately following, Moorer keeps the childhood diary open for “The Stars and I (Mama’s Song).” This one is another slow burner about her youth, this time with Moorer on the acoustic guitar with lush soundscapes backing her.
Even though the songs are musically simple, I don’t think Moorer has ever written songs so freeing and beautifully warm.
All 13 tracks on Crows are worthy of writing about, that’s how impressive this release is. Moorer has stepped into unchartered territory, not only with her music, but the maturity of her lyrics. Gone is the pain of her youth in hopes of a freedom she has long been looking for. She has seemed to have found this message, thanks to the crows.