Singer-songwriter is a term that encompasses a broad swath of the musical spectrum. Yet every person probably has a preconceived notion of what a singer-songwriter will sound like. On the new album Spark, Todd Warner Moore shows that the term singer-songwriter isn’t limited to just a singer with an acoustic guitar.
“Noodles” has something of a Jimmy Buffett island beat, which makes it a bit surprising that the first lyrics in the song are ingredients like “oregano, some garlic cloves, a spoonful of pressed olive oil.” Once you get past that initial surprise, you realize that this is really a sweet song about loving someone and having good food cooking when that person comes home.
“Do You Really Know” is another example of how adept Moore is at creating songs that are a slice of life. At its heart this is a pop song with the addition of strings. As he strums the guitar and strings swell in the background, he asks, “Do you really know the ones you love?” At some point in the song, he poses the question, “Do you really know yourself that well – to contemplate another’s hell?” It’s a question we could all stand to ask ourselves more frequently. It’s a beautiful and thought-provoking song.
“Right inside This Room” is a bit of a deviation from the other songs. With the marimbas and the percussion in the background, this song incorporates a bit of exotica. Meanwhile, the message of the song is as powerful as the other songs on the album. He sings, “everything we want, everything we need is right inside this room.”
This is not an easy album to categorize with Moore moving in styles from pop akin to Jack Johnson (“Mess”) to tinges of Bakersfield (“Crashing Down”). No matter the style, he shows that he can tell a good story with lyrics that get you thinking. If you’re a fan of the craft of songs, this is an artist you should check out. Spark was released on October 31 and is available everywhere.