Troy Horne,
Troy Horne
(Freedome Zone, 2000)

Troy Horne's self-titled release blends smooth jazz and alternative folk stylings with results that should please listeners with varied tastes in music. The accessibility of this album is one of the things that drew me in.

But it was Horne's masterful voice and the underlying rhythms of this CD that kept me listening. Although there's little in the way of various styles to be found here, Horne's sound is sure and well-developed, as it should be with his background in church choirs, university musical productions, and the L.A. club scene. In fact, many of the songs here, especially the opening track "Kissing Ground," struck me as very appropriate candidates for airplay on most popular music stations.

So what exactly can one expect from Horne's CD? A smooth mellow voice, for starters, that carries more wisdom than one might expect from his relatively young age of 24. "Change," a song about getting back on your feet told from the perspective of a street person, also conveys Horne's lyrical wisdom. "This Man's Pride" moves away from this mellow mood, but Horne's voice loses none of its expressiveness; "Conversation" continues this expansion and features a strong Spanish rhythm. His church choir background also serves him well on stellar tracks like "Gone Away" and "Valley."

As a whole, Troy Horne's CD is sure to provide listeners with almost a full hour of talented musicianship. It's a sure bet that Horne's career will continue to grow and flourish; with such talent evident this early in his career, there's a wide, appreciative audience waiting for him. Make sure you're a part of it.

[ by Audrey M. Clark ]
Rambles: 8 September 2001