Teri Tobin - Truth Is (2014)

Teri Tobin
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Teri Tobin has quietly crafted a solid body of work since Love Infinity, her 2011 debut album. The Arizona native dropped So Good To Me in 2012, which, like the previous record, contained adult oriented cuts that explore various aspects of love, ranging from romantic love to self-love to love of the community. Tobin returns to that territory on her latest project, Truth Is

Teri Tobin has quietly crafted a solid body of work since Love Infinity, her 2011 debut album. The Arizona native dropped So Good To Me in 2012, which, like the previous record, contained adult oriented cuts that explore various aspects of love, ranging from romantic love to self-love to love of the community. Tobin returns to that territory on her latest project, Truth Is

A convincing argument can be made that Truth Is stands as the strongest of the three. Tobin’s latest project contains a quintet of tunes that have memorable vocal performances, compelling arrangements and novel ways of telling a story. “Done” and “Someone Else Will,” a two part break up letter/vent, contain all of those elements together in two songs. Tobin adopts a conversational style on “Done,” a cut that tells the narrative of a farewell letter written to an unfaithful lover. The track features an up tempo arrangement combining a funk bass line with hip-hop production techniques. Meanwhile, simmering anger competes with acceptance on “Someone Else Will.” The airy synthesized arrangement combines with the percussion to create the potential of a verbal explosion that does not come. Instead, Tobin’s vocal conveys the feel of a woman struggling to contain her anger while also allowing that anger and the man to float out the door. She resolves the conflict at song’s end by simply declaring “Lose my number.”

“Pool of Love” is a funky blue light cut ideally suited for a little belly rubbing on the dance floor. Propelled by a driving bass and Tobin’s sensual soprano, the track finds the vocalist using a series of water metaphors as she invites her lover to wade into the her passion. “Like an ocean wave/I’m moving down/To the canal of ecstasy/The rush got me open/Mind blowing/Doesn’t matter how fast or even slow/Ocean is constant in its flow/And I’m ready to take it all in.”

Tobin turns up the romance on “Make Beautiful,” the lead single from Truth Is. This time, the keyboards give the track a lullaby sound that matches the come hither quality of Tobin’s vocals. The lyrics show that sensuality remains at its best when what’s left unsaid allows the imagination to complete the picture. “I know what you want from me/I know what you want from me,” Tobin coos. We kinda have an idea what these two lovers want, but limiting those wants to sex – which is what this scene is often reduced to - draws an incomplete picture.

 “I Am” is a different kind of anthem with its simple piano melody, acoustic bass and Tobin’s stream of consciousness vocals that find her dealing with the insecurities and fears that come with giving herself spiritually and physically to another person. “Will I be enough?” she asks at the beginning before coming to the conclusion that self-acceptance is a must come before she is ready to be involved in a relationship with anyone else, and by the end of the track Tobin boldly declares “I’m already enough.”

Truth Is features several other solid tracks that prove that Tobin remains an artist who is fully able to render the kind of mid tempo love tunes that adult radio can’t get enough of, but numbers such as “I’m Am” and “Someone Else Will” are the type of imaginative cuts that elevate this project and reveal Tobin’s continued artistic growth and confidence since her 2011 debut. Strongly Recommended

By Howard Dukes

 

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