Tori Reed is a female singer-songwriter with an acoustic guitar but that is such a superficial description that it’s worthless. Same Page Different Book is her third album and I loved its predecessor, The Snug Sessions. So what’s going for her? Firstly, she writes very clever songs but doesn’t spoon-feed the listener with meaning. “I’m a victim of my own stereotype” from ‘The Good Fight’ is the key line for me – see my first sentence – Tori knows that she isn’t what she she’s supposed to be.
Secondly, she has a very flexible voice that she uses so well. She sings the opening track., ‘The 3 Muses’, in a “little girl” voice and I hate that but she rocks and roars ‘The Alphabet Song’ and it’s clear that she was just putting it on. Finally, she has assembled a fine band of musicians and knows how to use them. Rick Foot plays double bass and, after the conventional-sounding ‘The 3 Muses’, his is the only accompanying instrument on ‘Desire’ plus he plays some extraordinary notes on ‘Femme Fatale’. Lucy Roberts’ violin gets a workout on ‘No No, Gypsy Jazz’, Oli Faulkner plays a sparkling guitar break on ‘Delta Brit’ and the sax of Simon Hartung and the trumpet of Michael Grew add passion at the heart of the album.
Somewhere around ‘Study Of Em’ I wanted to stop and go back to the beginning because I realised I hadn’t got it on the first pass but I continued listening, still impatient to go back. Of course I had to wait for the dreaded hidden track – I’ve spoken about this aberration before. It’s a good song but what’s it called?
I’ll forgive Tori this time, simply because I’ve enjoyed the record so much. It has so much depth and gives you so much to think about.
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‘No No, Gypsy Jazz’ – official video: