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Eli Moore - Album Review: Ship Life

18 Jul 2017 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Eli Moore's CD Ship Life was the perfect accompaniment to our mid winter travels down to the snowy mountains, although not quite the same, listening to his music was like taking a journey to exotic lands, I actually felt like I was sitting in a piano bar on a cruise ship. This journey also took me back in time sparking memories of some great musicians who were kicking around in the 1970's, Jackson Browne and Steely Dan immediately sprang to mind. Eli is quoted as saying he is influenced by artists such as Carole King, James Taylor, Hall and Oates, Paul Simon and Tom Petty to name a few.

As I had a copy of the physical CD, I can describe the booklet which came with it in all its glory. This is not just a flimsy cover insert, it is the lyrics to all 12 tracks plus photos of his travels, it is a wonderful personal touch a lot of thought has gone into making it. The photo collage on the back cover of the booklet really connects you to Eli and his time performing on the cruise ship, it adds visuals to the music.

Ship Life draws you in from the beginning with Ghost, this is where the poetic story telling begins "I'm going away not long from today, spreading my wings, that's at least what they say", he seems to be saying bon voyage to loved ones right from the beginning and as the album evolves the sense of lost love emerges combined with tales of travels to far off lands, adventures and life aboard.

Track 9 Lost In Palamos, takes you to Spain with a Flamenco feel which is different from the rest of the album but in a good way, it mixes things up, you get transported to sunny Spain to explore the streets of Palamos with Eli. A short break ashore from the piano bar on the ship.

When I came to track 11 Really Missing Mary, the lyrics indicated that perhaps it has not been a story of lost love, but time apart "We need our space to see how well we fit". The lyrics weave a rich tapestry which is formed due to his wonderful storytelling.

His journey comes to an end with Peter Pan, it is a song of home coming and rounds off this album perfectly "But with my feet on the ground I'll be through with all of this cruising around". He is home.

This album is emotionally honest, personal and shows Eli's attention to detail, it does indeed showcase he is so much more than a piano player, he is an musical artist which strives for a higher standard of music. He has described his music as "emotional, intelligent never vapid or cavalier. Soft hearted but hard headed which guides his creative process".

This has been a lovely musical journey. Thank you Eli, you are indeed fueling us with musical nutrition.

Eli Moore is a session pianist, singer-songwriter and producer based in Auckland, you can find him here and here.
 

About Eli Moore

Eli Moore is a producer and songwriter. Known mostly for his skill as a pianist, Eli has taken his ability to play almost anything and everything by ear and sight around the world, working in show bands aboard cruise ships. An avid lover of classic pop music since young, tertiary studies in jazz made Eli more aware of interesting harmony, form and composition, all of which has found it's way into his music.

Home Skillet is a five song offering of lofi warmth and 90's influenced urban music styles. Taking cues from classic producers such as Teddy Riley (Michael Jackson), Babyface (Bobby Brown) and Q-Tip (A Tribe Called Quest), among others, Eli delivers crisp, intentional songwriting in a 90's throwback aesthetic. Seeing how far he could take the ‘bedroom producer’ role, the record has him span across the styles of hip hop, new jack swing, RnB and pop, subverting the typical content of each with his own lyrical character. Now a self-sufficient one-man-band-in-a-box, Eli is already at work on his next musical output from lockdown on the family farm in Kaitaia, New Zealand.

Ship Life is a musical self-portrait, framed as a narrative of his time as a working musician aboard cruise ships. Spanning styles and influences to relate themes of displacement, love, loss and travel, it draws most deeply from a love for the singer-songwriters, super-producers and musician’s musicians of the 70’s.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Eli Moore

Releases

Home Skillet
Year: 2020
Type: EP
Ship Life
Year: 2017
Type: Album

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