Todd Warner Moore Keeps It Lit on New Album Spark
Todd Warner Moore’s music, specifically on his latest long player, Spark, is nothing if not original. Each track is heavily steeped in a solid foundation of guitar work—the singer songwriter strums both acoustic and electric guitars equally peerlessly—with the poignant insights of a man who’s lived on a number of continents, countries, and, by extension, cities.
Originally hailing from Kansas City, Kansas, the vocalist/instrumentalist cut his chops singing and touring with Acoustic Juice throughout various parts of the Midwest during the 90’s. He formed the band Tea Thieves in Budapest more recently, with which he released three albums to critical acclaim. Nonetheless, for the past eight years he’s been based out of Hong Kong’s Lamma Island, which fueled the inspiration for two releases in 2018, Spark (released on Halloween) and Lapis Lazuli, which dropped last summer.
When Moore and his eclectic assortment of vocalists, instrumentalists, and percussionist Larry Salzman are on, they’re really on on Spark. It’s worth noting this album is curiously devoid of any drums, yet the rhythms of the guitars and the richness of the percussion ensure there’s no such void for those prone to head nod, or simply sway while enveloped within the pristine melodies besieging them. The guitar licks on the title cut set the tone for the rest of the album, reminiscent of the riotous guitars on Six Pence, None the Richer’s ubiquitous movie soundtrack ode “Kiss Me”.
The vocalist goes for a distinctive campfire feel—which actually characterizes most of the album, albeit in sylvan settings as opposed to those of beach environs—on “Gift”, which simply works wonders with its smattering of strings, touching lyrics and harmonies attributed to Moore and background singers Leah Hart and Michael Kentish.
In fact, there’s not a bad number on the collection on which Hart graces her airy soprano, particularly on “In the Water”, an instant classic tailored for radio play, malls, or the bedroom, even. The most vivacious moments of the tune are unequivocally the chorus, which springs to life with ineffable guitars and crooning ready for pop audiences anywhere. Davide Severi busts out the piano chords on “Right Inside the Room”, which is guaranteed to take you there, wherever that may be.
Mere seconds into the track the listener’s transported to a misty, fog-soaked afternoon in which everything one needs—including that special someone else—is “right inside the room”. The sonic backdrop is perfect for Moore’s observations about life, fulfillment, and that perfect place where, seemingly, happiness and contentment meet and yield to one another, for your listening pleasure.
This is just one of the many cuts on the album proving Moore knows what he’s doing with his artistry, and can get it right, at the right time and place, when he wants.