COMPOSERS: Christine Tobin & Liam Noble
LABELS: Trail Belle Records
PERFORMER: Christine Tobin (voice), Liam Noble (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: TBR01
Emotions are the vocalist’s territory, with passion, sadness and regret being dished up pretty much to order. Anything more complex, though, stymies many singers, although Diana Krall manages it with songs such as ‘All or Nothing At All’, delivered as the vaguely menacing story of obsession implied by the lyrics.
This particular disc, inspired by the sad and premature passing of Tobin’s sister, achieves uniqueness by conveying the inevitable ambivalence of visiting a favourite album (Carole King’s Tapestry) as both a valediction and a celebration.
There’s no shortage of depth or commitment to the material, but by deliberately avoiding dressing it up or over-stylising it Tobin, with Noble’s supportive accompaniment, induces a rare sense of empathy in the listener.
I know of no album quite like this and I recommend it utterly. It loses one star for its rather plain production, but even that’s arguably a component of the whole. Roger Thomas