The Moore Brothers
Murdered by the Moore Brothers
Plain
2006
C



sometimes there's nothing to do but start with cliché, but sometimes it's possible to go one better. Cliché number one: The Moore Brothers sound like Simon and Garfunkel. Cliché number two: If there's homicide here, it's by killing me softly with his song. Got those set? They might come up again as we listen to this thing.

Murdered by the Moore Brothers is both as easy and as hard a record to listen to as you'll hear anytime soon. The duo (actual Moore brothers Greg and Thom) execute their harmonies perfectly and their understated music—usually just an acoustic guitar, sometimes supplemented by piano or drums—couldn't be more pleasing. On the other hand, it's so comfortable and familiar that it becomes indistinct. Probably 90% of this record's reviews will reference Simon and Garfunkel, and, for once, not only because the press release refers to Paul and Art. From a musical standpoint, the Moore’s seem to have listened to very little else. Fans of the older group will likely want to return to that folk-pop, and haters of the boys in New York won't be able to get past the sound of this album.

The album redeems itself a bit because both Greg and Thom (each of whom writes seven songs for the album) are weirder lyricists. If you start out paying attention, you'll catch some good stuff. "Fresh Thoughts of You" opens with "If there were one thing in this world that I would kill / You know it wouldn't be cancer / 'Cause even the tumor on my little toe / Doesn't smell half as bad as the party she'll throw." The repetition of the line "Clean out of love with those fresh thoughts of you" takes the song's bitterness to a special place, and the wordplay on "clean" and "fresh," and the reference back to the song's opening, displays the lyrical gifts that the Brothers have.

The production on Murdered by the Moore Brothers also deserves notice. The pair did that work themselves, and they did a fine job of keeping the sound intimate without forcing a lo-fi sound. With still plenty spacious, the songs easily maintain a bareness that reinforces the characters' confessional tones. Unfortunately, the music doesn't hold up; instead, it deserves the tags often withheld for fear of faint praise: "nice," "lovely," "pleasant," etc. The album earns praise, but only warrants the deadly soft kind.


Reviewed by: Justin Cober-Lake
Reviewed on: 2006-04-03
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