Close As You Get

Gary Moore

Eagle Rock, 2007

REVIEW BY: David Bowling

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 06/26/2007

Every year or two, I get a visit from Gary Moore in the form of his latest album. He’s like an old friend who, while not exciting, is nice to catch with as to what’s been going on in his life. nbtc__dv_250

The Ireland-born Moore has an excellent, bluesy voice and is a fine guitarist who can play the blues. I just don’t know if he has ever lived the blues. His rock roots run very deep and so I consider him to be a blues/rock fusion artist, and that’s fine, if not a bit unoriginal at this point. As such, he won't break much new ground or change his approach, so if you take Moore on his terms the music is satisfying, nothing more.

Close As You Get features five original compositions and six covers. The covers seem to work a little better as they are straight rock; the old Chuck Berry tune “Thirty Days” shows that Moore can still flat-out play when challenged by the music, and his original composition “Hard Times” has great harmonica work by Mark Feltham set against some flashy guitar.

The Sonny Boy Williamson classics "Eyesight To The Blind" and "Checkin' Up On My Baby" are well done but also edge closer to straight rock. It's not that Moore can't play -- in fact, he's a truly underrated guitarist in America, though a rather popular one across Europe. It's just that this collection offers nothing in the way of originality, which is necessary after 50 years of rock artists playing the blues.

There are truly no bad songs on this album, but very few are excellent. The last few Gary Moore albums are interchangeable, so it doesn't really matter if you get this or another one released since 1990. In short, this is a disc for fans of Moore or of standard blues/rock, one that you'll spend time with and then invite back in another couple of years, just like an old friend.

Rating: B-

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