September 2006

Allison Moorer - Getting Somewhere
Sugar Hill SUG-CD-4012
Format: CD
Released: 2006

by David J. Cantor

Musical Performance ****1/2
Recording Quality ****1/2
Overall Enjoyment ****1/2

Allison Moorer’s song "Work To Do" launches Getting Somewhere with her silky-strong voice accompanied by forceful, disciplined Ramones-like rhythm guitar. The song immediately engages the listener and raises high expectations. Those expectations are fulfilled in an interesting mix of old methods applied in enjoyable new ways, recalling the '60s and '80s while not dwelling in the past. Moorer’s lyrics are original and heartfelt enough to put new wine in a familiar bottle.

A set of songs that are fairly conventional in melody, chords, and beat are given power by the players’ and singer’s artistry (only one track includes a voice besides Moorer’s). Brady Blade on drums and Brad Jones on bass make a fine rhythm section, sounding familiar with what has made some past music rock.

I don’t often talk about cover art or liner notes, since they are not part of the music. But an incongruity is striking here. Though well executed, the pop-psychedelic graphics suggest a Donovan or Iron Butterfly revival. Moorer is portrayed on the cover as a '60s "pussycat" in '90s makeup, pretending to be asleep, with her golden hair spread out on a pillow. These visuals do not mirror the disc’s straight-on, un-cutesy music.

The production and recording are fine; instruments mesh into a tight unit that lets guitar solos and other special moments ring out as they should. There are just ten average-length tracks. At the end, we have experienced a rewarding journey, but we wonder, Where to now? Of course, Moorer will answer that in her next album, which can't appear soon enough.