Review: Toshi Reagon


Toshi Reagon
(Razor and Tie)

A quote from Toshi Reagon’s press kit calls her “a black female Neil Young.”  Not to pigeonhole anyone by race or gender, but Tracy Chapman would be a much more accurate comparison.  Although Toshi’s voice is miles away from Tracy Chapman’s husky tone, they occupy the same rough area of the musical spectrum.  Despite the respectable songwriting chops she displays here, it’s Toshi’s cover of Ric Ocasek’s “Just What I Needed” that will really grab you.  It’s actually kind of disservice to call it a cover- Toshi and guitarist / backup vocalist Marc Anthony Thompson have reinvented the 80’s pop hit as a haunting kind of love song.  Anyhow, if you ever like anything Tracy Chapman did, you should check out Toshi as well.