Mae Moore

It's a Funny World

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Decked out in a black hat against a red background, a smiling Mae Moore gives the appearance of someone who enjoys making music. The cover also puts the listener in the right the frame of mind for the 48 minutes of animated music on It's a Funny World. Moore's vocals and the arrangements quickly bring to mind Joni Mitchell circa 1974, but not in a way that seems derivative. As with Court and Spark, full production provides lush support for Moore's self-penned songs. This spacious sound creates a certain depth and richness on pieces like the title cut and "Love Will Bring You Back" that is quite at odds with the more common roots approach used by many singer/songwriters. "Red Clay Hills" builds a resonant sound out of no more than acoustic guitars and dense percussion, while the pianos and guitars of "Who Knows" fashion an easygoing rhythm worthy of Laura Nyro. The smart arrangements dress up Moore's well-written lyrics into beautifully crafted pop songs with a hint of jazz, guaranteeing a satisfying listening experience. It's a Funny World qualifies as Moore's first release in the United States since 1995's Dragonfly. The strength of the material and vocals, however, make the album seem less like a comeback than a solid release from an experienced performer. With It's a Funny World, Moore has crafted a fine album that should please anyone who appreciates expressive vocals and a faultless blending of folk, pop, and jazz.

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