When you consider the presence Geoff Moore used to have in the Christian music industry, it's surprising to think
that it's been just over four years since this artist last nationally released a new studio album. At one time known as Geoff Moore & The Distance, headlining major
tours and producing pop radio hits one after the other, Moore has since slowed his pace as a solo artist and refocused what his music
is all about. In 2002, Moore released his second solo project since parting company with The Distance, A Beautiful Sound,
on Forefront Records. Now Geoff has teamed up with Smitty's Rocketown Records to release what can easily be considered his best work
in quite some time, Speak To Me.
From the initial sounds of Speak To Me, it may be tempting to want to pass off the album as nothing particularly new or
noteworthy. However, further delving into the opening title track, particularly with its soaring and engaging chorus, the listener
may find much to connect with on Geoff's latest venture. Speak To Me is an intimate and open record, immediately something
that makes Moore's latest studio record one of his most inviting. Gone is the silly, albeit catchy, pop anthems like "Home Run" or "Evolution."
Instead, Speak To Me is an acoustic-driven pop-kissed record that blends healthy elements of folk, contemporary, and even a hint
of rock. "Your Day" begins with Moore's signature near-whispered verses that give way to a wonderfully passionate, declarative chorus,
"This is Your day / I'm going Your way / I cannot wait to see what You have in store for me today." The record quickly shifts
gears with the emotional and hopeful "When I Get Where Im Going," a folk-flavored ballad that begs loved ones not to
mourn when Moore sees his final day and gets to be with the Savior in heaven. The moving lyrics seem like what one might expect
from someone like Johnny Cash, but musically "When I Get Where Im Going" is an epic ballad that features former Watermark vocalist
Christy Nockels backing Moore with her powerful voice (which even drowns him out at times).
Speak To Me is comprised in part of songs that first appeared on recent independent releases from Geoff. In 2005,
Moore released a two-part record set entitled Every Single One, a project that featured a title track inspired by his
experiences with Compassion International. Speak To Me features "Your Day," "Captured," "This Is My Fathers World," and
the impactful "Every Single One" from that collection, with the latter offering insightful lyrics spawned from reaching out to
the young in need, "I've seen Jesus, He was standing all alone / I've seen Jesus, He was young and He was old / I've seen Jesus
in the eyes of these daughters and sons / Every single one." "He Knows My Name" is a contemplative folk-rock track featuring a duet
with Kendall Payne, while "That's What Love Will Do" bears a delightful retro ballad feel that is a fine fit for Moore's voice and
ultimately a highlight on Speak To Me. The album winds down with the mellow "This Is My Father's World," the upbeat rocking
benediction "So Long, Farewell (The Blessing)," and closes with fragile and prayerful highlight "Erase." Tacked onto the end of the last
track, also, is a slightly different mix of the album's defining moment, "Every Single One," which appropriately follows up the hopeful,
barrier-breaking theme of "Erase."
Geoff Moore may not be quite the name in the industry that he was over a decade ago, but the end of his absence is gladly noted
with the release of the thoughtful and diverse Speak To Me. Worshipful without seeming forced, pensive without being obscure,
and accessible without sacrificing substance, Moore's latest effort may be one of his best yet.
- Review date: 4/1/07, written by John DiBiase