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The Hardest Part

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Album Review

The year 2000 proved to be a momentous year for this Alabama native. Obviously influenced by the soulful, mature departure from contemporary country music taken by her sister Shelby Lynne on her 2000 release I Am Shelby Lynne, Alison Moorer has similarly grown since her 1998 album Alabama Song. While her debut CD flirted with the fine line between traditional country and the slick Nashville sound, The Hardest Part dives headfirst into a southern soul-tinged countrypolitan sound, complete with string and horn sections. The Beatlesque, mellotron-infused "Send Down an Angel" sounds almost like "Strawberry Fields Forever" with less LSD and more whiskey, while "Is It Worth It" feels like Dusty Springfield is back in Memphis again. The dark final track (unlisted in the liner notes) is a somber murder ballad, a heart-wrenchingly honest reaction to the death of her parents. Her brash, husky vocals hold the album together through heartache and pedal steel, and the fact that she co-wrote and co-produced the album proves that she's more than just a pretty voice. While it took six albums for her sister to realize her dissatisfaction with the limits of the pop country sound, Allison Moorer has made great strides in just two.

Customer Reviews

Beautiful album!

This album is incredible. Ms. Moore sings with such emotion. Send Down an Angel is one of my favorite songs ever...its beautiful. I also like No Next Time...the harmonies are so different. By far my favorite album of hers.

A masterful work, give it time to grow on you though

This is an amazing record. Allison has such a different voice than anything else on mainstream radio right now, it can be a challenge to listen to at first. IMHO you have to listen to this record a few times before you really hear it. Then, the more you listen to it the more you love it, until it gets under your skin & you find yourself humming it throughout the day. After awhile you won't want to listen to anything ELSE. Kind of Lucinda Williams in the way that it grows on you. This album is deeply emotional & personal.

A rediscovered masterpiece

I just found this album in my old cassette collection and played it through. I had forgotten what a powerful album this is! Superb voice, some incedible songs, especially "No Next Tme" and some beautiful country guitar work. I've just bought it again on iTunes. Very strongly recommended!


Born: June 21, 1972 in Mobile, AL

Genre: Country

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Allison Moorer was born into a musical family and raised in the small southern Alabama town of Frankville; when Moorer's father shot her mother and then turned the gun on himself, older sister Shelby Lynne -- soon to become a country singer herself -- took charge of raising Allison. After attending the University of South Alabama, Moorer moved to Nashville, hoping to get her start as a studio backing vocalist. She struck up a songwriting partnership with musician and future husband Butch Primm, and...
Full Bio