Lisa Moscatiello

Trouble from the Start

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Trouble from the Start Review

by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.

The dark, red and brown color photo that fronts Trouble from the Start, relegates singer/songwriter Lisa Moscatiello to the right bottom corner. She's peering at the camera, though her face, from the middle of her nose down, has been cropped out of the frame. This first impression suggests a certain submerged quality, one that will no doubt be revealed (she's a singer/songwriter after all) by listening to the album. Moscatiello offers her first revelation with "Ashtray," a love song about love, the force that rights all wrongs, smoothes all rough edges. The title track moves from the ideal to the reality of love, and finds Moscatiello caught up in the melancholy of lost romance. Love is probably more trouble than it's worth, the lyrics suggest, but her relaxed delivery finds her resolved to the fact. This non-tragic approach to love and all of its problems lifts her lyrics and melodies above a number of singer/songwriters who leave the listener wondering why they even bother if everything is so darn tragic. The spare instrumental arrangements offer a nice underpinning to these ballads, and on songs like "You're Crying," Moscatiello shows herself just as comfortable with jazz as adult contemporary. For singer/songwriter aficionados looking for a ray or two of hope when it comes to the complications of romance, Trouble from the Start is a good place to begin.

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