Tom & Lori,
(self-produced, 1998)

The Tom and Lori here are the Neufields. Lori wrote all the tracks on Reflections, and Tom arranged, produced, recorded and mixed while also providing vocal and musical backing.

It is a CD of beautiful songs, which are well written, and in the main they are brought to the listener in simple arrangements. This serves to enhance the performances and the lyrics.

The opening track, "Taboo," owes a lot to the jazz and torch song singers. The deep enticing voice draws us into an excellent piece of music and hooks the listener from the start. "My Only Bad Habit" is a love song with wit rather than mush. Lori admits in the very good sleeve notes that she has written soppy songs about Tom but this in not one of them. One line -- "I'm the one who puts down the toilet seatÓ -- tells it all. "Coincidence" is a more romantic love song as it asks if people finding their true is part of a series of coincidences.

Like all good songwriters, Lori pens some beautiful love songs, but she can also turn to deeper matters. "Only the Blind Can See" is a thought-provoking piece about how we judge people. First impressions not only count, all too often they will stop us getting to second impressions and we never find the real person behind the look. "So think with your heart and touch with your mindÓ is a sentiment we might all consider in this rat-racing world.

I was reminded of Doris Day movie songs when I listened to "My Lucky Charm." "Who's Bossa" has a fun-loving arrangement that really works well. The title of "Warm Hands, Cold Heart" drew me to a very country sound, and I loved it. "Lies" is another very deep song from Tom & Lori. In the notes she recalls the TV series I Dream of Jeannie and its idea of women's roles.

I truly enjoyed this CD. Every song is new but most of them struck a chord immediately. The winning formula here, I think, is that these are songs we all think we could sing and most of them have a connection, however slight, to our own lives.

[ by Nicky Rossiter ]
Rambles: 14 September 2002