Back in 2006, I wrote here about this rocker guitarist-turned-introspective-new-ager and his sampler album, 1st Samuel 16:16-23. I noted that, while his Web site was somewhat contradictory to what he was offering us then, he was still a very skilled and fluid guitarist. Amethyst is a full-length acoustic album (ten tunes in all), all tunes having a single-word title and featuring only Moody (lots of well-done layering) and is quite refreshing. There are still periods of somewhat monotonous repetition, but, because his melodies are strong, you can actually sit through more of such repetitious strumming and chording than you would otherwise. His sound effects are also most effective. There’s the thunderstorm and other assorted sounds of nature--and did I hear a shakuhachi on "Warrior" (track five), the exotic Japanese bamboo flute made famous by such noteworthies as Kazu Matsui? This may be the only place where Moody's employed another musician. I wonder who it is since no info on any accompanying musicians was included in the promo material. Hmm...maybe it's Moody himself! At any rate, that shows a tremendous reach and utilization of sound that works for me.
Moody confidently states that the album’s ambience will bring about the kind of peace that "will completely fill the room." I hear elements here that make this a very accurate assessment. One smooth piece just flows right into the next. No abrupt breaks after an ethereal piece to jerk you away to a more intense or robust sound, which could actually prove to be disruptive when you‘re in that "zone" with this music. Yes, this is just the stuff of which a relaxing after-work evening or bedtime is made. Moody has done well in his transition from rock to this mellower form of soul satisfaction. Maybe that’s because, from the tranquil opening notes of "Daybreak" to the unimposing, yet sweet finale "Moonlight" (nice day-to-night transition taking place on this album), you can tell he wants to be where he is. I think we all do, at least from time to time.