Little Things

Little Things

5.0 16
by Toby Lightman
     
 

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It's fortunate that Toby Lightman's vocals are so strong, since it's all that she can do to be heard over the electronic burble of her debut LP, Little Things (Lava/Atlantic). Peter Zizzo's production is furiously contemporary, with programmed percussion, intermittent string sections, shrill electric guitar, and layered vocalSee more details below

Overview

It's fortunate that Toby Lightman's vocals are so strong, since it's all that she can do to be heard over the electronic burble of her debut LP, Little Things (Lava/Atlantic). Peter Zizzo's production is furiously contemporary, with programmed percussion, intermittent string sections, shrill electric guitar, and layered vocal collages (of both Lightman's own voice and supporting harmonies) often choking the subtle acoustic chords that run throughout the record. About the only thing missing from the shallow bag of studio tricks is "Robo Toby," the processed vocal effect made infamous by the Matrix. Luckily, the young singer really does have a huge voice. Comparisons to Nelly Furtado and Lauryn Hill are valid; Lightman's phrasing is perfect and her singing's throaty and sassy, even if her lyrics are the usual mix of aw snap empowerment, romantic woe, and dear diary soul-searching. She's mature and confident over the light contemporary R&B of "Leave It Inside" -- is that a Mary J. Blige influence? -- and the processed poptronica of "The River" gives her some strong material as well. But Lightman's vitality really shines through in "Everyday," which finally, mercifully strips away the accompanying instrumentation to a simple and refreshing acoustic guitar line. The song suggests what Lightman might've sounded like before her tunes were shoehorned into the blatant and unimaginative MOR arrangements that clutter Little Things. They have pop hooks, sure, and the busy, ingratiating "Devils and Angels" or "Frightened"'s tasteful Dido-isms should appeal to casual listeners content with a pretty melody and a comfortably non-threatening smattering of not quite here, not quite there instrumentation. But Little Things' strict adherence to the now sound -- as in what is destined to be so yesterday -- doesn't give Lightman a fair chance at building an identity.

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Product Details

Release Date:
03/30/2004
Label:
Lava
UPC:
0075678362323
catalogNumber:
83623

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Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Toby Lightman   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Drums,Vocals,Background Vocals
David Mann   Saxophone
Nile Rodgers   Electric Guitar
Tom Barney   Bass,Electric Bass,Upright Bass
Bashiri Johnson   Percussion
Joe Bonadio   Percussion
Jesse Levy   Cello
Rob Mathes   Conductor
Ozzie Melendez   Trombone
Sandra Park   Violin
Leon Pendarvis   Conductor
Andy Snitzer   Saxophone
Gerry Leonard   Electric Guitar
Peter Zizzo   Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Piano,Drums,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,tiple,Synthesizer Bass,Synthesizer Piano,Pianette
William Gallison   Harmonica
Jen Scaturro   Keyboards

Technical Credits

Rob Mounsey   String Arrangements
Matt Brown   Engineer
Chris Gehringer   Mastering
Rob Mathes   Horn Arrangements
Leon Pendarvis   String Arrangements
Lynn Kowalewski   Art Direction
Femio Hernández   Engineer
Peter Zizzo   Producer,Engineer,Executive Producer,Digital Editing,Vocal Arrangements,drum programming
Ariel Martin   Management
Ming + FS   Songwriter,Composer,beats
FS   beats
Jen Scaturro   Programming,Digital Editing
Aaron Albano   Composer
Toby Lightman   Composer,Executive Producer,Vocal Arrangements,drum programming

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