Entertainment » Music

Inspired By True Events

by JC Alvarez
Monday Aug 19, 2019
Inspired By True Events

The pop-music spectrum often feels like it's combusting in on itself. The lack of imagination and exploration is something that even the most seasoned artist has often let fall on the waste side, compromising instead for the state of commercialism. Certainly, there are only a few and far between artists that can demand or even take such risks; and the handful that do are banking on their own inherit fan base to stay with them along the journey. Sometimes it pays in spades. For Tori Kelly the pop songstress has taken a big step forward and fortunately, it works.

On her latest album "Inspired by True Events" Kelly takes a very introspective look at her life and her self. The artist has often explored autobiographical themes in her music in the past, but after spending some time diving into some old family home videos while visiting her family, she opened the flood gates on a series of emotions. Taking a much more protractive pop-sound on this latest effort, Tori Kelly sounds more like a rock star than ever before! The singer capitalizes on the sheer versatility and strength of her chops.

Kelly made her mark on the pop spectrum most notably grabbing attention for her Gospel Grammy wins, and it's no surprise that much of her vocal prowess benefits from a proclivity to delve into the depths of R&B and the prowess necessary to enrich and nourish music that should tap into the "deep down" of the soul. "Inspired by True Events" benefits mostly from its organic instrumentation and arrangements. Kelly is on her best form here and her voice is the major focus, free of any programming or distraction.

The album's setlist opens up with the sultry sexuality of "Coffee" which is dedicated to a long-distance love she is longing reconnect with; the track moves with a sexy groove and pace carried along by the artist's vocal melodies. It's follow-ups the pop-rock driven anthem "Change Your Mind" and "Language" have a rougher edge to them, but the same performance-ready keel that permeates through most of the album. Concept albums aren't entirely popular on the scene anymore, but Kelly makes use of those reminiscent home video moments to narrate her story.

Most of the strength of the album comes from Tori Kelly's slow tempo ballads and anthems; her voice is on full display and her ability to vocalize and emote through some of the most beautifully crafted lyrics in pop today is a boon — certainly it speaks to her talent and skill as a musician. "Inspired by True Events" is an explicit study in well-crafted pop and should be the album that steers Kelly into more chart relevance. Without a doubt, there is a significant amount of material for her to really tour successfully and move her audience brilliantly.

"Inspired by True Events" from Tori Kelly
available on CD and Digital Download
$11.99
Capitol Records

Native New Yorker JC Alvarez is a pop-culture enthusiast and the nightlife chronicler of the club scene and its celebrity denizens from coast-to-coast. He is the on-air host of the nationally syndicated radio show "Out Loud & Live!" and is also on the panel of the local-access talk show "Talking About".


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