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Abra Moore
EVERYTHING CHANGED
(Koch)

This Austin-based singer-songwriter has experienced the kind of music-biz woes that would give her plenty to talk about over dinner with Aimee Mann. After signing with J Records in 2000, Moore, a former member of world-pop fusionists Poi Dog Pondering, found herself making an album she didnít feel she owned, the product of a writing process muddled with hit-seeking song-doctor collaborations. J let her buy the album back without releasing it; Everything Changed is her self-styled return to the critically acclaimed deep-yet-pillowy pop of her promising debut, 1995ís Sing, and it proves she shares more than label troubles with Mann. She may write elemental coffeehouse confessionals, but she canít resist the temptation to outline her tunes with atmospheric production tricks that often say more than her lyrics. "Big Sky" gets a charge of alt-pop caffeine from a jangly electric-guitar solo; "No Fear" (the title track of the aborted J disc) pulses with a muted trip-hop beat; "Melancholy Love" uses some trippy vocal processing to add a sense of loneliness to Mooreís chipper croon. Her thematic interests, like Mannís, are familiar to all, but she does her best to personalize them. Here, she succeeds more often than not.

BY MIKAEL WOOD


Issue Date: August 13 - 19, 2004
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