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My Lover, My Stranger

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Album Review

Back in the mid- to late '90s, David Moore's name was closely identified with emo. Chamberlain, the Indiana band that he sang lead for during the Bill Clinton years, were known for an emo/punk-pop approach. But as they went along, Chamberlain's work became rootsier — and a band that had often been compared to Sunny Day Real Estate and the Get Up Kids also found itself being compared to Counting Crows, the Gin Blossoms, and Matchbox Twenty. Fast forward to 2009: Moore is recording as a solo artist, and his first solo album, My Lover, My Stranger, finds him very much in singer/songwriter mode and favoring an earthy roots rock/Americana direction. Stylistically, there is nothing emo about this CD other than the fact that Moore's performances are full of emotion. There isn't a drop of punk-pop to be found on My Lover, My Stranger; Sunny Day Real Estate are never a valid comparison, and Bruce Springsteen is a major influence on thoughtfully introspective tracks such as "When You Fall," "Radiate," "Breaking You Down," and "Beautiful Now." That isn't to say that Moore actually tries to emulate the Boss; John Cougar Mellencamp, John Hiatt, and the Byrds are also influences. So even though Springsteen is a prominent influence on this album, he isn't Moore's only post-Chamberlain influence. Clearly, this roots rock/Americana direction really agrees with Moore; all of the solo material on My Lover, My Stranger is solid and inspired, if derivative — and one hopes that there will be many more solo albums to come from the expressive Midwesterner.

My Lover, My Stranger, David Moore
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