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Album Review: Tori Kelly – TORI.

2 min read
Album Review: Tori Kelly – TORI.

Tory Kelly has made her presence and talent known to the world in a relatively short space of time. Since her 2015 debut, she has won two Grammy Awards, been featured in a hit animated film, and featured with some of the industries biggest. This year has seen the release of an expanded version of her 2023 self titled record, and expert display of genre-bending and songwriting.

thing u do kicks things off with Tori acapella before building up to a satisfying drum loop complete with vocal chops and brass stabs. There’s a subtle late 90s vibe to the instrumental that compliments her vocals perfectly, but the switch at the mid point is much more modern and although surprising adds another layer of intrigue to the track. The following tracks missin u and diamonds lean much more into their respective genres, the former a drum and bass masterclass and the latter a soulful slab of pop. spruce boasts the first feature on the album, Kim Chaewon from pop group LE SSERAFIM. The track is a bright slice of airy pop, all the elements melding together with the falsetto vocal melody to create the atmospheric song.

The piano interlude purple skies precedes the second feature of the album Ayra Starr and their track unbelievable. It’s a low-key number with a buried reggaeton beat and great subtle performances from both Tori and Ayra. young gun is an even more subdued track featuring Jon Bellion. The pair begin together, performing perfectly aligned along to a simple synth backing. It slowly builds but never leaves its soft glitchy beginnings. alive if i die returns the album to the late 90s, early 2000s feeling that started the album, before same girl finishes off the record with a self-affirming, subdued, Ariana Grande-esc piano pop tune, singing of being wiser and better than ever before.

Being an extension of her 2023 EP, TORI. builds on the successes of the former whilst branching out into unknown territory. The newer cuts on the record fit snugly with the original ones, and those have an added power when boosted by a stronger track list. This is a great extended cut and another batch of fantastic songs.