Chris Moore – Joy and Abandon

Chris Moore
Joy and Abandon

This is the third solo release by Detroit artist and resident Chris Moore, and it’s one that may force you to look further into his career. Moore has been kicking around the Detroit area for years and had experience in the punk and indie scenes. Moore unleashes 11 cuts of folk that are very reminiscent of a more mentally slanted Bob Dylan or Neil Young. Some friends and acquaintances here help him out, and it is a lot of fun to hear some of the things Moore comes up with lyrically and musically.
Joy and Abandon starts off with a sparse little tune with “Derailed” that is very striking in its minamilism. Moore’s hoarse vocals sort of recall that of Dylan or Young, and, while not being the best in the world, they carry a special lilt that makes them very intriguing. The title cut continues the somewhat Dylan-esque vocal similarities, and once again the music here has a special lilt to it that makes it hard not to enjoy. Moore has the ability to totally go beyond his vocal limitations without causing a distraction, which is a rare feat. Boy does he use this very tactfully in his recording.
Another highlight here is “Plenty,” which has a fuller sound to it than the rest as it carries a little bit of a spare folk/glam hybrid. Moore’s style here reminds me a little bit of some recent Mercury Rev tinged with a more David Bowie-like excess. Those may seem like bad traits to have in a song, but surprisingly it comes off very compelling. “The Party” ends the disc with a nice slow rolling tempo that allows Moore the chance to drawl along a little bit of lite-rock mellow groove. Moore’s vocals work very nicely here, as his voice tends to drag out on some syllables that go along with the somewhat lazy groove.
This outing by Moore is quite eclectic and lends Moore the chance to stretch out with his ideas and gives him some freedom to express his artistic preferences. Moore shines brightly on most of the tracks here, and it’s a lot of fun finding the different nuances in his performances. Moore is an average vocalist, but he knows his strengths and weaknesses, and he uses them both to his advantages, as his vocals never seem out of place. This is definitely an intriguing record that fringes on the indie-folk genre, but also shares its roots in many other styles as well.