Under This Yellow Sun

Tori Sparks

Glass Mountain, 2007


REVIEW BY: David Bowling


Under This  Yellow Sun is the third release and second full length album by independent artist Tori Sparks. Why some artists achieve instant commercial success and others as talented or even more so are consigned to years of playing in small clubs and recording for independent labels is a mystery. Tori Sparks falls into that category of an artist who because of her talent deserves more.  my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

She is an excellent songwriter and superb vocalist. Her songs are well crafted, personal and at times introspective. It is her voice, however, that has the chance of making her a star. It has a strong, clear bluesy quality that reaches out and catches your attention. Her voice is the instrument on the album.

Under This Yellow Sun contains several excellent songs and really no poor ones. “Cold Sweat” is a song about resolve in the face of adversity; the power of her vocals set the tone for what will follow. “Under This Yellow Sun”  rocks a little more than many of the other cuts, wherein Sparks makes good use of instrumentation to enhance her acoustic guitar playing. “Caged Bird” is a wonderful uptempo blues-oriented vocal.

One criticism of the album is that many of the arrangements are repetitive. She is primarily a singer who accompanies herself on acoustic guitar. Other instruments are mixed in to augment the sound rather than creatively adding to it, though, and it seems Sparks would be better served singing over top of a band. Also, the mix of the album could be clearer.

Sparks has a lot going for her, though, since she writes her own material and encompasses a number of musical directions. She seems most at home in the blues vein but folk, pop and country are also fine. She just needs to pick one.

However, that's part of paying dues. More than anything, Sparks deserves to be recognized for her voice. It can take her about anywhere she wants -- it's that good.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2007 David Bowling and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Glass Mountain, and is used for informational purposes only.