Tuck & Patti

Chocolate Moment

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For just the second time in their career, Tuck & Patti offer an album that contains only original material. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that Chocolate Moment is the first release on their own label. Equally likely is that, as with many other artists, their creativity was stirred to an unusual turbulence by the World Trade Center tragedy of the previous year. Its traces can be discerned most clearly in the lyrics to "Comfort Me," a plea for help after "all my illusions have...crumbled down in smoke and glass," and in a festive call, set to a township beat, to get past "the season of crying" in "Rejoice." The same shadow touches most of the other tracks as well, though Cathcart's positive-energy emanations make them harder to spot on, for example, "Love Flows Like a River," a gentle meditation that turns out to be about saying goodbye to loved ones. What stands intact throughout Chocolate Moment is the intimacy of their musical union, with Tuck's astonishing accompaniment glistening against Patti's honeyed, soulful tones. Her songs are not easy to play -- and, as the shortage of breath spots in "Knowing" illustrates, they can be tricky to sing as well. Yet, in the manner of every great duo, they make it all seem easy and, always, supremely musical throughout Chocolate Moment.

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