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The Duel CD

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Making sense of things isn’t always easy. Singer/songwriter Allison Moorer knows this, for sifting through life’s various complexities can make for a good song and even better story. On “Sorrow (Don’t Come Around),” one of the starkly candid songs on Moorer’s forthcoming effort, Crows, she hints at a hidden optimism that sometimes is ignored or forgotten. ... Read more in Amazon's Allison Moorer Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (13 April 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Sugar Hill
  • ASIN: B0001NBLUE
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 52,509 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. I Ain'T Giving Up On You 4:25£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Baby Dreamer 4:22£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Melancholy Polly 2:33£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Believe You Me 4:05£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. One On The House 4:20£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. All Aboard 6:02£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. The Duel 4:09£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. When Will You Ever Come Down 2:38£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Louise Is In The Blue Moon 4:01£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Once Upon A Time She Said 4:09£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Sing Me To Sleep 3:15£0.79  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

Having achieved some degree of success and recognition with MCA and Universal, Allison Moorer sought out an independent label "that allows creative control but also has influence and muscle", as she put it. She found what she was looking for at Sugar Hill. She has continued to work with her husband, co-writer and co-producer Butch Primm, and to build upon her remarkable rapport with producer R.S. Field. Also she has retained her unwavering devotion to singing hard songs of deep and emotional truth. Everything else is just a little bit different. For instance the sound of The Duel. Whereas her last studio album was an elegant, sophisticated update on classic southern country soul, The Duel is heedless and blunt, and a little bit rough around the edges. This is intentional. Allison and Butch and Bobby took a new, thoroughly unrehearsed band into the studio and cut 11 songs in a dozen days. Butch even lured Bobby into picking up his drum sticks for the first time in 18 years. The rest of the core ensemble - Adam Landry (Stateside, The Sways), John Davis (Superdrag) - are hardly your first-call Nashville session dudes. But, no, The DuelL isn't exactly a rock record. It's simply the newest installment in the series of deeply personal and profoundly beautiful albums Moorer has made. It's a wee bit louder, that's all.

Some of the best records are all about a mood. The Duel displays a kind of world-weariness bordering on despair, evidenced immediately by the languid vocal delivery and the sparse, laid-back, but intense sound of the band. The lyrics themselves may take a while to creep up on you. Moorer has never quite fit the Nashville mold, and her songs here certainly don't follow the Music Row formula. Instead they paint dark pictures of failed faith (the title tune), alcoholism, ("One on the House"), and death ("Sing Me to Sleep"). RS Field's perfect production owes more than a passing debt to Neil Young. If you think this all sounds depressing you'd be wrong. As with all great country music, exquisite execution, splendid sound and depth of feeling combine to create a cathartic, redemptive result. --Michael Ross,

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By ZibZab on 7 May 2004
Format: Audio CD
Allison Moorer's "Miss Fortune" is one of my favourite albums of the last few years. Beautiful, emotive songs, powerful melodic hooks and emotionally mature lyrics all wrapped up in the most glossy, sumptious production imaginable.
So I was really looking forward to her next album, and here it is!
The first thing you notice about this album is the cover. It's not what you'd expect. And neither is the music.
Gone is the lush production of "Miss Fortune", and gone to, to a certain extent, are the lush melodies.
Instead, this is a very angry, raw, nihilistic approach. Like the amazon review says, this does not sit comfortably. This is Allison Moorer stripped back to a 3 piece band - drums, bass, and very raw guitar. Some songs are augmented by a piano or accoustic guitar, but that's it.
The album has a very "demo" sound to it - it feels like you're stuck in some redneck Alabama roadhouse, and this is the house band. You can almost hear the bar-fights breaking out as you strain to make the lyrics out over the noise.
And so to the songs - At the bottom end is stuff like "All Aboard" - a monotonous guitar rythym and lyrics that would make a sixth-form poet cringe, and the frankly dreadful "Melancholy Polly", but the rest of the album soars beyond it's empty production.
"One on the House" captures the despair of "Dying Breed", and songs like "Ain't Gining Up On You" and "Louise is in The Blue Moon" show that the old Allison is still alive and well.
And then there's the title track "The Duel" - A beautiful song, sung with so much emotion.
The whole album hangs together well. The mood is sustained throughout - it's just not a very comfortable mood this time around.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By CWP1956 on 28 April 2004
Format: Audio CD
What can I tell you? If you've heard Allison before you've probablyalready bought it. If you haven't heard her start here. If any woman sanga song to me like the album opener "I ain't giving up on you" as Allisonsings it I'd be crawling back begging to be forgiven. Drunks are normallybores, but I'd buy a whole bottle of JD for anyone who could sing "One onthe house" like Ms Moorer. On the other hand "All aboard" sounds anattractive proposition - but beware the siren's song. And those are butthree picks from the eleven gems here.
Rockier than her earlier discs,this will be one of my albums of the year. Do yourself a favour and get acopy.
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By manfred b. on 20 Dec 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Good Album from Allison Moorer, wife & Partner of Steve Earle. The Transformation from MOR Country to Singer/Songwriter.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L. Reid on 6 Oct 2009
Format: Audio CD
The more you listen to this album, the better it gets. Never has she sounded better, more soulful, more alive.

Just cant think of words to describe how good it is,, just listen end enjoy
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 22 reviews
37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
One of the Best Albums by a Female Vocalist in 2004 9 Jun 2004
By Birdman - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I bought a copy of this album late on the day my daughter was admitted to an intensive care unit for respiratory failure. I first played it late in the evening of that terrible day, and if I've ever felt more comfort from an album, I don't know what it would be.

Allison Moorer has a voice that's a little like Wynona Judd without the candy. It is a deep, resonant alto with huge dynamic range. The songs she writes and those she covers on this fine disc are performed with such conviction, it's breathtaking. Here and there, one of her lyrics fall flat, but so what? Her performance here is incredibly honest and polished. If you understand songs that address loss and redemption, you'll love this.

The lyrics are grim at times but so is life, and when the album ends, her final cut, which one reviewer here disliked, sounds like an aural sunrise to me. There is hope here, and its a big reason why the album works.

While I usually discuss recordings song-by-song, I won't attempt to do it, because the whole here is greater than the sum of its parts. Moorer's producer and Rounder Records have done an ear-opening job of recreating a late sixties-era sound -- like Neil Young's classic EVERYBODY KNOWS THIS IS NOWHERE. The opening cut smacks a little of DOWN BY THE RIVER, but it won't put you off.

Would I have preferred a more generous recording, say: more than 45 minutes? Sure. But except for this issue, I absolutely love the courage and conviction of these songs and the heroic sound of moorer's voice. As far as staying power, I am 52 years old and rarely replay albums as often as I have replayed this one. It sounds fresh after ten spins.

Soul is a word that starts with R&B and expands in concentric circles to include other forms of music. Ms. Moorer has created her own form. It is neither rock nor folk nor country, but it goes straight to the bone.

If you love Neil Young, Townes Van Zandt, Tom Waits and especially Lucinda Williams, you will love this recording. For those who didn't know, Allison Moorer has arrived at last. To say that her performance here exceeds anything her sister Shelby Lynne has done would not be fair, but in her own way, she has done it and deserves all the notoriety she can get along the way.

Strongly recommended. If this one isn't named a classic this year, write back and yell at me.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
The Duel 30 Jun 2004
By Jake Z - Published on
Format: Audio CD
When Allison Moorer came onto the music scene in 1998, with her major label debut ALABAMA SONG on MCA, she sang a soulful kind of country music that was all her own. Now in 2004, she released her 4th studio album on the independant label Sugar Hill. The sound has evolved a bit from the country sound, to a more rock edged sound that is evident throughout, especially the opening track "I Ain't Giving Up On You". Moorer is a confident songwriter, and a darn good one at that. Not only for lyrical reasons, but she knows how to write a catchy hook. Look no further than the song "Melancholy Polly". There's still some country elements, but with THE DUEL it sounds like Allison Moorer is more and more coming into her own sound, constantly evolving. Other highlights include the title track, "One On the House", "Believe You Me", and "All Aboard".
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Allison At The Top Of Her Game 21 May 2004
By Erik North - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Having received virtually no joy from country radio to date, Allison Moorer not only took leave of the big labels for the rootsier confines of Sugar Hill Records, but she also took a harder approach to her music with her new release THE DUEL. A huge rock influence pervades this entire album, as does a new sophistication to her songwriting, albeit an arguably cynical and dark tone.
Allison hasn't completely forsaken her country roots as can be demonstrated on the steel-laden "One On The House", though even here the feel of the song is closer to James Taylor's "Bartender's Blues" than to any of today's standard-issue Nashville drinking songs. It helps that Allison's smoky R&B-influenced voice is as good as it is. Probably as gutsy a song as she could have ever written is the sardonic "All Aboard", which takes an underhanded swipe at the rampant far right-wing post-9/11 jingoism, even utilizing some of the right's own language ("and if you don't love it, you can leave") only to throw it back on them. Doubtless that this means Allison will get even less airplay at country radio now than the minuscule airplay she's gotten in the past, but it seems like she's gone past the point of caring there.
Those two cuts go along with nine other fine examples of Allison's merging of alternative country with R&B-influenced classic rock and show conclusively that there's a lot more to her than being Kid Rock's first sidekick on "Picture" or the kid sister to Shelby Lynne. THE DUEL is an album that demands to be taken seriously, as does Allison herself.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
An Incredible Album from An Incredible Artist 15 April 2004
By N. Poulos - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Although this album is very different from Moorer's last album, I feel that "The Duel" is a real breakout album for her that shows her versatility and true artistry. I feel that is only the exceptionally talented that have the ability to find their own voice and own style in different genres of music, and Moorer falls into this category of the exceptionally talented. This album is a little less country and a little more rock but all Allison Moorer. Her smoky vocals and blunt songwriting blend in perfectly with the gritty roots rock sound (with a hint of twang). Her powerful and complex lyrics back by the rawness of her voice makes for one explosive song after another. My personal favorite is the gut wrenching "Believe You Me". Her voice is so penetrating and the guitar sound in this song is so powerful that it forces you to take the song in with your entire being. Moorer's songwriting is complex and questioning, and what songwriting should be. An incredible album by an incredible artist.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Mighty Impressive 29 Oct 2004
By James Carragher - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Allison Moorer cannot be pigeonholed. Sure she is from Nashville country -- more George Jones than George Strait -- , and that breeding is clear here, especially on the fabulous One on the House. But there is a lot more as well, including blues-infused tunes that could easily have come from the harder edged section of Bonnie Raitt's songbook (e.g All Aboard, a sour twist on cheap patriotism). An almost pop sound bounces through When Will You Ever Come Down, one of the weaker cuts, with lyrics that belie the upbeat music. Sing Me to Sleep, a uplifting lullaby at the end of life, has an Appalachian feel to it. Baby Dreamer, kicked off with the wonderful lyric "There's a foreign movie/Up on your silver screen..", is a torchy rock ballad.

Along with the impressive array of musical styles, Moorer's intelligent and mature lyrics convey tales of human struggle and, often, hard-fought failure. Best of all is the title track and its loss of faith sung to a stark piano and harmonica backing. Her voice, by the way, reminds me a lot of Maria McKee. It's one powerful instrument.

The Duel impresses more with each complete listening -- and it is an album meant for hearing in its entirety at one sitting. A few more months and it might be five stars; for now the couple of humdrum tunes among the superb ones keep it at four.
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