The Duel - Allison Moorer
The Duel Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 5 Ratings

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  • Summary: The country singer's fourth studio album and Sugarhill debut was recorded in just two weeks with returning producer R.S. Field.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 14
  2. Negative: 1 out of 14
  1. 100
    The kind of record from which careers are made.
  2. As with all great country music, exquisite execution, splendid sound, and depth of feeling combine to create a cathartic, redemptive result.
  3. Though Moorer's haunting characters delay the inevitable by juggling booze and pills, their stuggle ends with redemption. [16 Apr 2004, p.76]
  4. Allison Moorer abandons the glossy textures and pop friendly hooks of her last album Miss Fortune for a grittier, more lived-in sound on The Duel.
  5. 70
    Her voice--half dark, lazy molasses, half bourbon with a silky finish--rings with equal parts defiance and vulnerability. [May 2004, p.128]
  6. Most of the songs are like a Southern accent: eight miles an hour, deliberate and very dangerous to underestimate.
  7. Yet, it would be too convenient and, frankly, unfair to simply blame the production. These songs, like Moorer's picture in the liner notes, are all dressed up with nowhere to go.

See all 14 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. StormyL
    Apr 18, 2004
    Best cd so far this year
  2. PatriciaB
    Apr 18, 2004
    Allison takes us on an incredible journey with this album. If not one song really rips at your heart, you're dead!
  3. charlesm
    Jan 17, 2005
    This is the best I've heard of her so far, and one of the best albums of 2003. It creates an interesting world and it's hard to shake its vision once the disc stops spinning. Excellent sound, excellent voice. Wrenching, powerful stuff. Not a sour apple in the whole barrel. A 9.6! Expand
  4. DavidB
    May 11, 2004
    There's a clutch of excellent songs on this album and any weaknesses are more than made up for by Allison's superb voice. Buy it!
  5. RobM
    Dec 14, 2004
    I like Allison Moorer - I've got all her records, but I'm afraid I can't agree with the critics who say this is her best yet. Her best so far is her second album, "The Hardest Part," which is where new listeners should start. I love the sound of The Duel, and it's pretty good, but lacks the texture and tightness that would make it a great album. I admire her though, she's a working musician with a working band just doing her thing, and I hope she gets to keep releasing records. Expand