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Now Hear This: Spark - Todd Warner Moore

Rating: ****

Todd Warner Moore is an interesting case. Originally hailing from the midwestern town of Kansas City, Kansas, Moore wrote and performed in colleges and coffee houses throughout the Midwest. Eventually, he ended up in Budapest before settling in Hong Kong. That's quite a long strange trip indeed.

He comes to us now with a record called "Spark". If his past work is any indication it will be chocked to the brim with folk and world music influences with just enough modern singer-songwriter vibe mixed in to keep the audience honest.

I'm gonna chill on this fine Wednesday morning and give it a listen while I drink a very dark cup of joe. Join me?

Listen to "Spark" on Bandcamp here:

"Prologue" is a short intro to the title track "Spark". That song is just gorgeous and lyrically clever and beautiful. Much as I suspected. It's world music-tinged folk rock. Done really well. "Gift" is lovely as well. It's kinda like Jim Carroll retired and started playing coffee houses. Warner's singing voice is pretty punk for a folk singer. "Noodles" sounds like David Byrne and that's a good thing. "Do You Really Know?" is probably the strongest song thus far from a lyrical standpoint. Honest and endearing. "Drift Awake" is the lushest sounding tune from a musical perspective. The depth adds an element that had been missing and it worked as a great change-of-pace. "Mess" and "Gem" are both solid with the former being a folksy tale of a life gone sideways, while "Gem" is a slower-paced ballad. "In the Water" is a sweet tune about love. He does this very well. The female co-lead throughout the album is always great in her vocal parts. "Right Inside This Room" isn't my favorite but it's isn't bad. Just didn't grab me. "Crashing Down" is a western tune and it's a new look for Moore. I think he handles the country sound quite well. "Already There" stand out to me as one of the best tracks on the second half of the LP. "Bird's Eye View" is the last official track on the record, and it's kinda perfect really. A great way to end the album. After "Epilogue" there's a bonus live track called "The Lens" and it's a lot of fun. So that's good. I hate when albums have bonus tracks that suck. It's like "You could have just ended the album on a good note!" ya know?

This album is excellent although there isn't anything particularly revolutionary about it. It's just really great folk rock with some different look mixed-in. I really enjoyed it bell-to-bell so it gets the 4-star treatment from me.

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