Hunter Moore

Conversations

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Taking his cue from Robert Frost's book North of Boston, Hunter Moore fills his third album with songs of plain-spoken dialogue between ordinary people, looking for bits of personal insight. Two former high school lovers run into each other in a store and touch upon their old passion while comparing notes on their children and their lives in "Conversation"; a couple of male friends similarly hook up for a drive around town, but part when the talk turns personal in "The Boys"; and a narrator listens to the philosophical musings of a trucker at a truck stop in "Trucker." Moore has a good ear for contemporary speech, and he is able to construct a singable line without worrying too much about rhyme. It's clear that, for this Nashville songwriter, his solo work is a busman's holiday in which he does as he pleases without concern for commercial appeal, since the songs usually lack choruses or musical hooks. A four-piece band simply works up folk-rock patterns over which he sings, but there isn't much concern for structure. Rather, the songs meander like the conversations the singer recounts. Some songs are needlessly stereotypical, such as the Vietnam veteran's lament "The Road to Quang Tri" or the story of a lonely small-town woman in "Teresa of Carlston," but at his best Moore illuminates the lives of the people whose tales he tells in their own words.

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