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Monday, October 24, 2011

Anthony Toner - A Light Below The Door

Anthony Toner - Light Below The Door
2011, Dozens Of Cousins

Irish crooner Anthony Toner continues to impress with his second album, Light Below The Door. A smooth voice, a distinctive flair for 1970's style singer/songwriter, rock and soul sounds and solid songwriting make any concert or recording from Toner a treat, but he raises the bar a bit this time around. Opening with "All Of The Above", Toner sews a memorable melody into an arrangement that's a cross between Barry Manilow and early Chicago. "Gratefully" finds Toner using a talk/sing vocal style that is appealing. The song is intelligent and heartfelt, and is among the best that Toner has written to date. "East Of Louise" is a brilliant story song about a friend that is full of amazing imagery underscored by a subtle, acoustic-guitar driven arrangement.

"Way Too Dark" again uses stark imagery to build a picture of a single mom left high and dry in the listener's mind. The blues/folk blend in the arrangement is anathema to the neurosis and longing that fill this tune. This is an absolute "Wow" moment for Toner, and is worth a listen even if the album escapes your attention. "You're The One" is a classic, simple love song full of great poetry that shows off Toner's quieter side. "The Great Escape" tells the story of a family feud in a stirring rockabilly arrangement. Toner brings the characters to life in song in the way that only great songwriters can, and highlights the achievement with some impressive guitar work along the way. Light Below The Door bows with "Nashville Snowflake", the tale of a snowflake that wants to live together. Once again, Toner's melody and imagery are near-perfect.

If Anthony Toner was plying his trade as a singer/songwriter in 1975 he'd be signed to a major label and known all over the world. Today his material may sound a bit dated to some, but what doesn't change is that Anthony Toner is a world-class songwriting, with a voice that's eminently pleasant to the ear. Artistically he seems to be peaking right now, as well. Light Below The Door, consequently, is not an album to be missed.

Rating: 4.5 Stars (Out of 5)

Learn more at or  CD copies are only available from Toner’s website.  If it’s digital you crave:

 Amazon MP3                    iTunes

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