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Todd Warner Moore

Spark

Review by Gary Hill

If you like artistic, creative folk music, there is plenty here that should please. There are no particularly weak songs here. That said, this does get a bit formulaic. I think had a few songs been trimmed it would be a stronger set. Sometimes less really is more. Still, many people just listen to one song at a time these days.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2019  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Prologue
This is a short spoken poetry reading with no musical accompaniment.
Spark
The lyrics on this cut include the words from the previous reading. The arrangement is fast paced, and a bit distant. There is a DIY texture to the production on this. It has both male and female vocals and works pretty well.
Gift
The mix on this is more upfront. Both the male and female vocals are still in place. This is a beautiful folk based number that's packed with magic. It's one of the highlights of the set.
Noodles
A bouncy number, this is more of a folk rock song. It's solid and retro in tone (particularly the guitar solo), but I don't think it's quite as strong as the last couple numbers were.
Do You Really Know?
A lush arrangement serves this folk styled number quite well. This is evocative and powerful. It's also another highlight of the disc.
Drift Awake
A slow moving cut, there are hints of country music built into the arrangement here. This is a good cut, but not a standout.
Mess
An old-time rock and roll element is part of the mix here somehow. Yet overall this is more of a folk rock tune. It's another that works reasonably well, but lands more in the vein of "also ran" than standing tall.
Gem
A much mellower cut, the strings add quite a bit to the mix here. It gets more powered up and rocking further down the road. This is particularly powerful and packed full of emotion. It's one of the highlights of the set.
In the Water
The female vocals are again included in the mix on this tune. This is a bit more on the playful side. It's not one of the stronger pieces here, though. It's not bad. It's just a bit on the samey end of the spectrum.
Right Inside This Room
I like the piano on this cut. The vocal interplay is nice, too. There is a bit of a jazzy edge to this piece, and it's one of the highlights.
Crashing Down
A folk rock styled tune, I love the layers of sound that dance over the top of this. It's another particularly effective and evocative song. This one has a good balance between mellower and more powered up stuff, too. All in all, this is another standout of the set.
Already There
Traditional slow moving folk music, this one isn't as effective as the last number. It does have a solid vocal arrangement, and good use of strings and other elements for emphasis, though.
Bird's Eye View
Another that lands along the lines of folk rock, this one also fits under the "a bit samey" category.
Epilogue
The closing piece of the album proper is another short poetry reading.
Bonus Track
               
The Lens (with Tea Thieves, Live from a Garden in Wales)

Bouncy and entertaining folk music, this is a lot of fun.

 
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