Album Review – Tori Sparks “Until Morning/Come Out Of The Dark”
Until Morning/Come Out Of The Dark
Glass Mountain Records
Tori crosses backwards and forwards over the rivers of Folk, Country and Americana with an effortless skip
Although based in Barcelona, Spain I am sure Tori Sparks will be familiar to many Maverick readers (although she is new to this reviewer) as her previous albums have been critically acclaimed over most of Europe and America. Only twenty seven years of ages this songstress has wound quite a mature world around herself which becomes apparent when you listen to her lyrics.
I often think with some albums you are as good as the musicians supporting you. Well Tori has pulled together some big hitters of the country world to help out here. Many of these guys don’t pick up a dobro or accordion for anyone. When players of the calibre of Fats Kaplin, Will Kimbrough, Shawn Mullins and David Meade are backing you up you must be doing something right.
But no matter how good or experienced the backing any recording stands or falls on the strength of the songs and the artists own performance. Fortunately Tori rises to the challenge. Spread over two CD’s. The first, UNTIL MORNING, is a more full on band orientated package featuring a slightly darker side of Sparks’ writing. Mama for example is a powerful and moving track drenched in raw and distorted guitar as Tori recalls that her Mama “didn’t raise no weak willed woman”. My personal favourite is Tennessee Line a great road song where she hails her love of this guy all over the US and Canada but wonders why he “couldn’t tell me you loved me when I came home”. Tori has a wonderfully smooth voice with just the right amount of roughness to stop it coming across too saccharine.
COME OUT OF THE DARK has less production with a greater folk influence. However this allows Tori’s emotional take on her subjects ranging from film noir to her take on men to stand out and strike a little harder in your mind.
These CD’s have been a regular on my player this month.
(This review originally appeared in Maverick Country Magazine www.maverick-country.com)