Allison Moorer, 'Crows' (Rykodisc)

Critical Mass
Label: Rykodisc

by Mikael Wood

Like sister Shelby Lynne (and husband Steve Earle), Moorer takes an encouragingly wide view of roots music; she's made records over the past decade-plus that have honored Nina Simone and the Troggs as much as Patsy Cline and Townes Van Zandt. This follow-up to 2008's all-covers album Mockingbird finds Moorer in hushed country-folk mode, ruminating on nature and romance amid handsome acoustic arrangements with plenty of space for her gently bluesy vocals. The songs could use more steam, but Crows reveals yet another color in Moorer's palette.

Mikael Wood



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