by Ian Moore
4.0 1


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Ian Moore's sixth album -- the first for the North Carolina indie Yep Roc -- cements the singer/songwriter's slow detachment from his blues-rocking roots. Although the Texas-bred guitarist's self-titled 1993 debut earned comparisons to the work of the then recently deceased Stevie Ray Vaughan, Moore has been moving away from the blues ever since. In fact, the contemplative, slow-building songs on Luminaria sound basically like Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot minus the noise interludes: country-tinged folk-rock songs given imaginative, occasionally dissonant arrangements. For example, the choruses of the otherwise straightforward "New Day" are colored with enough guitar fuzz and "Penny Lane"-style trumpet fills to appeal to the most confirmed psychedelia fan, and the seven-plus minute "Caroline" shifts from its weepy country-rock melody into a lengthy waltz-time passage filled with dub-style echo and keening, wordless vocals. Not all of the songs are that adventurous (although a song about Sir Robert Scott's disastrous 1902 Antarctic exploration shows a compelling disregard for the usual pop song clichés), but there's not a duff track on Luminaria, and the songs are so varied and interesting that this is Ian Moore's best album by some distance.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/24/2004
Label: Yep Roc Records
UPC: 0634457208322
catalogNumber: 2083
Rank: 143611

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Ian Moore   Primary Artist,Bass,Guitar,Percussion,Drums,Tambourine,Vocals
Bukka Allen   Piano,Accordion,Noise,Musician
J.J. Johnson   Drums
J. Alan Johnson   Drums,Musician
George Reiff   Bass,Musician
Chris Searles   Drums,Musician
Nina Singh   Drums,Musician
Will Sexton   Bass,Musician
Chris Dye   Guitar,Korg,Omnichord,Musician,Guitar (Tremolo)
Paul Brainard   Pedal Steel Guitar,Trumpet,Musician
Brian Standefer   Cello,Musician
Jay Clarke   Moog Synthesizer,Musician
Brian Standeford   Cello
Chris Forshage   Trumpet,Musician
Kullen Fuchs   Trumpet,Musician
Rob Jersoe   Dobro,Guitar,Lap Steel Guitar,Tremolo,Musician
Derek Morris   Mellotron,Wurlitzer,Musician
Rob Jersoe   Guitar
Derek Morris   Mellotron

Technical Credits

Ian Moore   Composer,Producer,Engineer,Audio Production,Found Sounds
Bukka Allen   Composer
George Reiff   Composer
Duncan Hudson   Engineer
Mary Gunn   Graphic Design
Britton Beisenherz   Engineer
Brian Standefer   Engineer,Contributor
Jeffrey Saltzman   Engineer
Spencer Gibb   Composer

Customer Reviews

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Luminaria 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Those who already know Moore may only know him from his previous incarnation as a guitar-slinging Texan. Those who haven't heard his earlier work will have a hard time connecting his earlier blues-rock background to his current folk-rock inflected sound. His latest betrays few hints of his past, filling out this disc (his sixth) with superb pop melodies and adventurous arrangements that layer harmony and echo on meters that effortlessly flow from pop 4/4 to dreamy waltz-time interludes. ¶ Touch-points like Jeff Buckley's introspective folk and Wilco's pop constructs are fleshed out by loping tempos, as well as pedal steel that is more atmosphere than twang. The 7+ minute "Caroline" is a lush Badfinger-like construct that alternates between concise melodic pop and trippy psychedelia. Having recorded this album over many months with a revolving set of musicians in several cities and along the road, the songs explore a wide range of styles, including the shuffling country soul of "April," the jazzy blues of "Abilene," and the otherworldly Theramin-inspired "Ordinary People." It's a heady collection of sophisticated sounds that mixes primary elements with shadings of trip-hop. ¶ When Moore cranks up the rock 'n' roll electricity, as he does for "New Day," it's more a wall-of-buzz (with Penny Lane-ish trumpets) than Texas blues. Even the rootsy dobro rant "B*st*rd" sounds as though it were processed through a bit of Tom Waits' alley-way sensibility. Moore's lyrics are similarly sophisticated, mixing allegory with word play for poetic effect, but without destroying the narratives or characters. His sketch of Antarctic explorer Sir Robert Scott's dramatically portrays the mariner's failed attempt to reach the South Pole before anyone else (he was beaten by Norwegian Roald Amundsen), and his death on the return journey. ¶ Perhaps the album's greatest achievement is how effortlessly it combines its breadth of style and depth of experimentation. Rather than sounding constructed, it sounds like an organic whole that tumbled out of Moore's imagination. There's a great deal of craft in the unusual, detailed arrangements, but like the lyrics, singing and playing, it's in service of fashioning a superbly coherent result from often disparate ingredients. ¶ 4-1/2 stars, if allowed fractional ratings.