Toby Jepson // Toby and the Whole Truth ‘Ignorance Is Bliss’ // Album Review
25 years ago, an emotionally charged Toby Jepson, fresh from the demise of Little Angels, released his debut solo album. That album has now been re-released with two bonus tracks. Jepson these days is well respected as a fine songwriter and performer, especially with his outfit, Wayward Sons.
Kicking off with a murky, blues-tinged track, `Some People Are More Equal Than Others’. It’s easy to see why the appeal of Jepson’s music is so strong as not only are there strong melodies but also it brings with it a fresh vibrant feel aided by his mastery of both vocals and guitar here. `Better Off Without Me’ continues to reel the listener in with deep beats and heartfelt lyrics.
Jepson kicks in with more fretboard wizardry on `Slipping Through Your Fingers’ before the possibly autobiographical? `Haven’t Got The Strength’ showcases his songwriting prowess. We then up the ante once more and shift into overdrive with the out and out Rocker, `The Wind Blows Hard’ which certainly has its roots firmly in the Southern Rock hemisphere.
Jepson seems to possess the ability to relate to the listener and `All Heal In Time’ will undoubtedly strike and chord with many in its lyrical content whilst being one of the gentler tracks found here. `I Won’t Be With You’ sees more of an edgy punkish style coming through which is in direct contrast to the emotional `Save Me From Myself’.
What is obvious here, is that Jepson is comfortable exploring different styles and is certainly no one-trick pony. A prime example of this is the pop/Indie flavored `Harder All The Time’ which whilst not being a rocker, its still full of endearing qualities. `Open Your Mind’ finishes on a true high with its upbeat and catchy hooks and is the last of the tracks of the original release.
Bonus tracks, `Get Your Feet On’ calls for us to don the warpaint and platform shoes in this 70s glam rock-influenced track, whilst `Spiritually Bankrupt’ has a more modern, and perhaps relevant feel to it.
If you’ve not listened to these tracks on its first release then its certainly worth picking up this anniversary version full of diverse and brilliantly penned songs by a much underrated and down to earth musician and songwriter.
1. Some People Are More Equal Than Others
2. Better Off Without Me
3. Slipping Through Your Fingers
4. Haven’t Got The Strength
5. The Wind Blows Hard
6. All Heal In Time
7. I Won’t Be With You
8. Save Me From Myself
9. Out Of Sight Out Of Mind
10. Harder All The Time
11. Open Your Mind
12. Get Your Feet On The Ground (previously unreleased)
13. Spiritually Bankrupt (previously unreleased)