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Current concise reviews of the albums by adult alternative, contemporary, and crossover artists. Images of album artwork and links to both internet-based resources are always included. Click on the title to view the article.

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The Duel CD Cover
Image © Sugar Hill Records 2004

Allison Moorer Image © Sugar Hill Records 2004

(30 June 2004) Country music siren, Allison Moorer, presents her gritty and alt-country style in her new album,The Duel (Sugar Hill Records (USA) SUG-CD-3984A, 2004). This experienced artist, with her numerous recordings including successful previous albums, as well as contributions to movie soundtracks including The Horse Whisperer (1998), Songcatcher (2001) and The Rookie (2002), brings about a rock/soul/country sound in her newest release.

"What I'm trying to do is make music that means something to me. I don't pay too much attention to trends or what's selling. I hope my music reflects the spirit of what we used to call country music, that it comes from a place inside as opposed to an outside influence." She goes on to describe her new album as "heedless and blunt, and a little bit rough around the edges." Apparently, the eleven tracks were cut in a quick twelve days!

This dynamic, talented singer/songwriter opens the CDwith "I Ain't Giving Up On You." Although the lyricsthroughout the album tend to be a bit on the grim side, the production has an intense, gripping sound. Allison'slanguid style evokes a passion in the music, blended withthe band's saucy accompaniment. The country sound isn'tlost within these new songs, but rather expounded uponwith a new sophistication.

Allison croons her heartfelt lyrics with great conviction,which seem to invigorate the soul. Some prominent songs onthe album include "Melancholy Polly," "One On The House,""Believe You Me," "All Aboard" and of course the title track,"The Duel."

There is a freshness in Allison's approach to her music, having a strong rock influence without abandoning her country roots.This artist effectively continues her metamorphosis in developing her evolving and growing sound. To sum it up, it's great music!

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