Abra's new album ON THE WAY released June 12, 2007. See song by song link at bottom of page.
ABRA'S ALBUM "EVERYTHING CHANGED" (including bonus DVD of live performances of PULL AWAY, GUITAR SONG, FAMILY AFFAIR) RELEASED BY KOCH ENTERTAINMENT.
SEE RAVE REVIEWS ON AMAZON by clicking on EVERYTHING CHANGED
Abra Moore has written and recorded the most peaceful (and perfect lullaby) (Dream Time), the most emotionally cleansing (Sing, Keeps My Body Warm, Shining Star, Paint On Your Wings), and the most joyous (Four Leaf Clover, Say It Like That) songs I've ever heard (along with Alice Peacock's Bliss, for most joyous); not to mention the most enchanting expressions of friendship (Your Faithful Friend, I Do), best songs to start a vacation (Sweet Chariot--train,
Big Sky--(plane), and the best songs to get over a painful relationship (Somebody Who Cares, Don't Feel Like Crying: on Sliding Doors film soundtrack); as well as the most beautiful expression of longing--Pull Away.
2007 update: It's been over 7 years since first hearing Abra's 4 Leaf Clover on the Lilith Fair collection. I have listened to her almost daily ever since. She remains the only singer and music of whom that is true for me.
Most song links require a recent Real Player. Real One Player will work and may be downloaded free (upper right corner) of Real.com. Windows 95 and Windows NT users should download Real Player 8 from Real Player 8 downloads.
Abra's voice is unlike any I've ever heard--which is why I don't compare her to others. It's an intriguingly delightful mix of delicate little and powerful woman....fragile power.
Shakespeare once asked "What's In A Name"? With this Grammy nominated singer-songwriter-musician, one answer would be "plenty." Both her first and last names have inspired titles of published profiles including "Moore Than A Feeling" and "Abracadabra"--though the latter is a nickname she does not appreciate.
Abra was named for the character with whom James Dean's "Cal" and his brother "Aron" fall in love in the classic 1954 film "East of Eden." A modern version of the Biblical Cain and Abel story, it is not hard to understand why this is Abra's favorite movie. Mysteriously prophetic of Ms. Moore's life, the Abra in "Eden" also had a mother who died when she was a child. Ms. Moore's mother died in 1973 when she was only four years old. Sweet and compassionate, Eden's Abra was a healer of seemingly unsurmountable conflicts. Through the power of her lovingly empathic pleading, the final scenes of the movie show Abra affecting a nearly miraculous reconciliation of Cal and his near-death father after a lifetime of emotional estrangement.
There is a similar opening-of-hearts-healing-force in Abra Moore's music. While she plays great guitar, piano and accordion, she is backed on her first two albums by master guitarist and producer Mitch Watkins and perfect beat drummer Brannen Temple. They team on the remarkably catchy Say It Like That from her second album Strangest Places (1997). If you knew you only had one day to live, listening to this song could be immensely helpful. The poetic, insightful lyrics of Say It Like That could serve as a perfect theme song for a psychologist's talk show even though it may have originally been written about a romantic interest.
Say all the things that you never could
Say what you want, say what you feel
Come on tell it to me like that, tell it to me light, tell it to me right
Could you tell it to me real this time
Holding your breath again, you're holding on, holding on, I can feel it
Holding your breath again
Someday you're going to have to let it go
When I listen to this song (and Four Leaf Clover) in a quiet, alert state of mind, it feels like the music is beating my heart and my heart is beating the music. The resulting sense is that of a sparkling, waterfall shining out from my whole body. Abra thus acts as the vessel for perfect music which awakens and celebrates the Spirit within our bodies.
Related, Abra has stated "The main thing for me is living clean and pure, keeping my channels clear. That's the only way to be prepared to express what comes in. If you're blocked up, it just won't come out. If my life is good, I can capture it and put it out later." Not surprisingly, her favorite tour past time is Yoga. She has stated that she often writes a song when upset or angry and that it comes out sounding joyful. She cleanses both herself and the listener with a unique kind of self-and-communal therapy.
Like Eden's Abra, Abra Moore is not surprisingly--at the center of male attention. And she doesn't have to try. What's not to like? Her angelic soft-voice may take you into reaches not experienced before. She pens almost all her own songs with lyrics ranging from interesting and highly imaginative to ethereal. Her soft looks have been compared to a "young Brooke Shields." In person, she has a waif-like Audrey Hepburn-like demeanor. Many men who meet her will probably feel somewhat protective. As Abra has stated "It's hard to be fragile." Too, it would be hard not to like someone who has wildlife protection as a hobby and thanks her pet dogs by name under album Acknowledgments.
Abra's first Album "Sing" (1995) was nominated as Best Pop Album of the year by the National Association of Independent Record Producers. Its first track, Sweet Chariot beats to the rhythm of an accelerating train. The Abra Amtrak is leaving the station. Destination unknown but you immediately start tapping your feet and enjoying the ride. She uses her voice like a fun train whistle as you pass a juggler throwing sticks through the air and a poet throwing words in the air while "angels from below" keep their time and words ever true. "Hold on" she rightfully implores, as you are on board for an exotic trip through Abraland. I always listen to this song when returning to my hometown on Amtrak. Abra's music can be likened to a soothing and energizing train vacation to see favorite friends in favorite places.
Sometimes she takes you into another realm--to which Abra clearly has a direct line. Dream Time is Sing's perfect prelude to a tranquil night of sleep or any other time when calming is wished. It is so dreamily melodic, you enter its magical dimension. With a velvet sweet voice just above a whisper, she lifts you
In dream time, I sleep a thousand years
A thousand clouds pass through my eyes
Making sunlight disappear
In dream time, I cross to the other side
Across the fields of gravity where angels like to glide
The Sing album and stunning title track are dedicated to Abra's mother who died at "such a tender age of 24." It makes your heart ache for the sadness of a little who has lost her mother so young. If your mother is still alive, it will probably make you love her more as it did me. "What about tomorrow? You won't be there so I can make you proud" she intones with longing sadness. If there is a connection between this world and one beyond, Abra's mother is no doubt singing along with perfect pride. This song moved me to ask Abra to sign Sing for my mother as I told her it would make the sweetest gift. She nodded and appreciated the thought after a summer 2002 Los Angeles concert.
Paint On Your Wings is the tragic companion song to Sing written for her father who died after a lengthy illness. With just acoustic guitar and raw emotion, this song will likely make you love your father more as you consider what life would be like without him.
In "Keeps My Body Warm" (STRANGEST PLACES), Abra reveals an intimate picture of her regrets for those she has hurt..
Breathe in enough to feel better
Heavenly hurting as I cry
Look at all these, all these reasons and explanations
For damage that I've done
Abra has aptly called this heavenly admonition to treat each other well "an ethereal siren song."
Four Leaf Clover is the song for which Abra is most well known as it was #1 during 1997. It received a Grammy nomination for best female rock song of the year (1998) and much video play on VH1 and MTV. It also helped her sweep the prestigious Austin Music Awards for the year's best song, album and musician. I first heard it on the Lilith Fair Collection in early 2000 and months later learned of the previous acclaim it had won. Though the Lilith Fair Collection has mega-talents Emylou Harris, Jewel, and Sarah Mclachlan, Four Leaf Clover is the song that immediately stood out. While nearly all songs lose some appeal with repeated listening, Four Leaf Clover and Abra's best other work, maintain a freshness that can transform the pressures of everyday life "My mind is always racing. My body's on overload," into a gorgeous spring day
I let go of all the big deals
I let go of the bitter dream
You see I've been thinking it over
It's all just a little too much
You see I've got a four leaf clover
It's gotta bring a little luck
After one of the two LA concerts I attended (June, July, 2002), I asked her if it were true that she was born at Mission Bay/San Diego since I live nearby this beautiful area. When she replied "yes," I suggested that she play a concert at Mission Bay as a "homecoming" and she gave me "thumbs up". She graciously signed album covers of all who asked.
The Mint concerts started with Shining Star. After the second show, I asked her what the song's title was since it was then new to me. She replied and immediately asked if I liked it. While this spirit-filled ode to forgiveness had made me cry, I answered "it's a prayer" and felt she took that as a huge compliment. With repeated "shining, shining, shining, shining...." you can feel her heart sending the love of a friend to someone who hurt her. The result is heavenly, and merits even more than a Grammy (Nobel Peace Prize perhaps). It's on "EVERYTHING CHANGED (and No Fear; link at bottom of page for song by song description). A January 17, 2003 article in
the Austin Chronicle stated that No Fear would not be released on J. A December 12, 2003 Billboard article explains some of what happened with No Fear. It can be viewed at No Fear/Everything Changed
Other memorable renderings at The Mint included her Trip On Love (from the Cruel Intentions movie soundtrack; and No Fear and Guitar Song (Strangest Places), and a staccato, driving, electric-acoustic guitar backed "Four Leaf Clover" done without the self-harmonies of the album version. This live version sounded much like the moore abra 5 Live from the strangest places CD. Abra's song selection for the one hour set clearly announced she is looking forward--with
Let's Do It For Love and Family Affair from NO FEAR. Not one song from SING was covered. As a fan of this album, I was disappointed that it and all her other recordings were not experienced live.
Looking luminous in her spaghetti-strapped black evening gown, Abra was candid enough the second night to reveal "I was nervous about playing L.A. which is known for tough crowds--but the people have been gentle."
During both concerts, Abra, who swims as a hobby, closed her eyes and made swimming-like motions with her arms above her head. She appeared to be completely immersed in the gentle spirit of the music. It seemed that these arm movements were a sharing of this spirit with us--a kind of blessing of all those present. I can still feel a vivid sense of this when listening to her more peaceful songs like DREAM TIME and the unreleased gem, PULL AWAY.
She made a humorous mention that she and her band had been on tour for a month and were "still standing." One could sense that new backup requires adjustment. Still, she continues to Moore than live up to her name.
Major, painful changes in Abra's life have occurred since Strangest Places. She was present as her artist, father died of a painful illness. Mitch Watkins, her lead guitarist and producer of SING and STRANGEST PLACES, is no longer with her as lead guitar (though he did produce songs on No Fear). So her losses have been both personal and professional.
After her show the second night, I sat down with Abra and a couple other fans for a couple minutes. One man said that the singer/songwriter is coming back and she is "the best." While I don't know who can determine "the best," she is my favorite.