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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Todd Warner Moore

Starry Sounds

Review by Gary Hill

I previously reviewed another disc from this artist. In that review I said that it needed some more variety to keep it more interesting throughout the release. Well, for this album, Todd Warner Moore pulled that off in style. Now the only issue (and it's really not an issue, but rather a function of having ten diverse songs) is that some songs don't stand quite as tall as others. As I said, that's unavoidable. The blend of folk music, psychedelia, prog and more on this is so effective. The songwriting is great from start to finish. This is quite a successful disc. There are some particularly strong tunes, and even the ones that don't quite stand as tall are still very solid.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2019  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Starry Sounds
Starting mellow and acoustic based, this eventually works out to a dreamy, trippy kind of soundscape that is so beautiful. It has a real soaring element to it and leans toward progressive rock zones.
Ebb and Flo

Some symphonic strings are in the mix here. This has a real folk prog vibe. It has some great energy. It's a classy cut that stands quite tall.

It's All Happening Today

Psychedelia, folk prog and more combine on this. I love the pedal steel guitar that drifts throughout the arrangement. The dreamy textures really shine on this number.

Starting Again

There is some jazz in the mix here. This is a bouncy kind of number, and a nice bit of variety. It is a fun piece, too.

See So Clearly

Starting quite mellow, this grows out to a powerful and soaring prog meets folk arrangement.

Lapis Largo

This instrumental is pretty. It has some country elements along with classical, folk and even some progressive rock. It is a powerful piece that feels a bit like a journey.

Meet in the Middle

Acoustic guitar creates a rather psychedelic, energized vibe on the opening of this piece. The cut works outward from there in style. While I like this tune, I'd consider it one of the weaker pieces of the set. That's less about any kind of flaw in this song and more about how strong so much of the rest of the music here is.

Coffee Conversations

A bit more of a pure folk music excursion, there are hints of prog and psychedelia built into this. While it's another that doesn't stand up to some of the others, it is a step-up from the previous cut. The string bring some magic to the table. I really like the vocal arrangement on this number a lot, too.

All the Lives

While the acoustic guitar and voice creates the most folk music based song of the set, this works well. There is an intimate immediacy to the piece. It gets powerful as it starts to really become impassioned later. Perhaps most importantly, this song lends some more variety to the set.

Slate

There is a bit of a Latin texture to some of the guitar here. This is a beautiful and rather proggy piece of music. It has some great tones and has a real dream-world vibe to it. This is one of the strongest tunes of the set, and a great choice for closer. It is so evocative.

 
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