CD Review: Liz Tormes

Limelight Velour
Music •••½ Sound •••½
Cue up this New York-based singer/songwriter's debut, and you might be reminded of Aimee Mann - when she was still writing memorable melodies. The hooks here are sometimes upfront ("Read My Mind," "Sorry"), other times more subtle, as in the softly accented chord progression of "Without Truth." If Tormes's forlorn words aren't always as enticing as her tunes or her voice, they can often say much in a simple turn of phrase: "I'm as straight as an arrow, but you want a pretty maze." Or this: "I can't get past the feeling I left you behind." The acoustic/electric backing - with admirably delicate production by Tormes herself - is evocative, especially from guitarist Jason Crigler. He has a fine light touch, but on "Black Luck" he can also simmer and smoke. This is an album for a sad, leaf-strewn autumn afternoon, from an artist to watch.

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