By Dina Kolman
Allison Moorer- Crows
Tattered threads hug her half-heatedly as she ambles along the dirt-ridden road. Tears crawl down her porcelain skin, pre-maturely wrinkled from grief and worry. She gazes off into the foreboding horizon, longing for a new life; A life of simple pleasures and harmony. Such emotion is propelled through the heart-felt poetry of singer/songwriter Allison Moorer’s music. One can imagine the agony and plead for serenity of a women, from the release of Moorer’s album, Crows.
Allison Moorer’s seventh album, Crows, is a canvas on which she paints her insightful creativity. With an emphasis on life and nature, this metaphorically driven album touches hearts and effectively transfers Moore’s emotions to her audience. Crows is the follow up to her critically acclaimed 2008 album, Mockingbird. Allison Moorer carries out the bird motif to celebrate her obsession with birds. She has been told that birds “are our messengers from the other side, so she decided that instead of letting them make her uneasy, she would consider them friendly and believe they were bringing her messages of comfort.” She even sings about these omniscient crows in the concluding track entitled “Crows.” Showing her connection to earth and natural pleasure, Moore surely sends her message to ears around. In “Easy In The Summertime,” Moorer’s nostalgic reflection on a southern lifestyle in the summertime: mother’s love, mouthwatering- melon, swinging in torn blue-jeans, and the freedom of going barefoot on the cool, hard wood, is relatable and charming. In “The Broken Girl,” Moorer depicts a solemn girl, creatively adding an upbeat catchy rhythm of drums and guitars to contrast the dramatic and sorrowful lyrics. “Just Another Fool” shows her attitude about women overcoming oppression and being independent. The sultry voice captivates listeners in the ballad “Should I be Concerned,” greatly showcasing her dynamic voice range.
Though her songs grant listeners with consoling warmth, alleviating air, and a light of hope, Moorer has the tendency for her lyrics to become disconnected with the supporting music. These heartfelt, bluesy songs of desperation and solemnity become repetitive cries, becoming mundane and melodramatic. Songs such as “Abalone Sky,” and “Goodbye to the Ground” encompass such heartfelt and optimistic words, yet posses such a repetitive, persistent meter, distracting the listener from its powerful message. “In Still The Side of Gone,” Moorer begs for a sign of hope to set her free. While not every track on Crows is a depressing ballad, the majority are woeful pleads that may be easier to listen to if they had an upbeat rhythm, like few tracks on Crows do. In those few tracks, Moorer counter-balances the solemnity with beautifully balanced acoustic guitars, precise piano, and even guest instruments such as violins. The mix is quaint but intriguingly passionate. The final transition is to a very dull, blues-like sound. In “It’s Gonna Feel Good (When It Stops Hurting),” dramatic lyrics swirl amidst the eerie melodies. Vivid images of overcoming pain dance in our heads, leaving a lasting impression of Moorer’s thoughts.
Along with Allison Moorer’s passion and thoughts, comes this warm, comfortable quilt of an album. The songs are strung together as the unique patches. Finally, holding together those patches are the threads of lyrics, running themselves in and out of this quilt. The lyrics brilliantly convey Moorer’s thoughts about life, love, hardship, and even birds. Though the tracks may seem to overlap in style and lose distinguishability, they are still creative evidence of thoughtful Allison Moorer. One must have an open ear to the sultry, soulful, and blues-like style on Crows, but it is not a quilt to be discarded and forgotten.