Tolcher: I Am
By: Blair Bryant
Some people know early
on in life what path to take. Some may be on one path but later
end up on another, which ultimately shapes them into the person
they are destined to become. Both can be said for singer/songwriter
Beginning his journey
as a musician at an early age singing in a church choir, Tolcher
spent many years honing his craft as a musician, from setting out
cross-country performing at clubs and bars, to his home state during
the Summer Olympics in Atlanta, to even performing at the Atlanta
Federal Penitentiary. The Lovejoy, Georgia native's years of hard
work paid off as he had the opportunity to tour with label mates
Maroon 5 and Michelle Branch for the Virgin College Mega Tour in
the Spring of 2004.
Tolcher's debut, I
Am, released on Octone
Records, is an impressive first album for this industry up-and-comer.
The opening track, Sooner Or Later, gives listeners a general
idea of his style, which is reminiscent of that of Duncan Sheik
and Jason Mraz. Tolcher comes into his own with his eclectic funky
style, which is a mix of rock, blues, folk, and pop. Contributions
from ?uestlove (The Roots) and Gavin DeGraw among others highlight
Tolcher's debut as well. Mission Responsible, the first single
released from I Am, is a very upbeat and inspirational song
about stepping up and leading in society. It features catchy yet
uplifting lyrics like: Be a part of your own decision / See your
future with tunnel vision / Take a chance if you want to survive.
Another song, Sun Song, showcases another side of Tolcher's
versatility, in which the aesthetically touching song has an apparent
feel that goes back to his roots of singing in a church choir. Bad
Habits is a heartfelt tear-inducing ballad that is very impressive,
when meaningful lyrics like: Well I can't figure it out yet /
Just how to make it perfect for you / But I'm closer than I was
yesterday are attached to the drum and piano-driven song. Things
get fun with the funk-inspired song Taxi Ride which, although
brief, has a lot of punch behind it to keep one satisfied, while
also showcasing Tolcher's impressive vocal range. I Am loses
a little momentum when it gets halfway through to This Is What
I Mean By That, but picks right back up with the title track
I Am, which has a laid-back tempo. Miracle is an excellent
bluesy number that further proves Tolcher as a promising musician.
Having been released
on May 4, 2004 Tolcher's debut, I Am, is definitely a must-have.
On it, Tolcher really comes into his own as a musician, and an impressive
one at that.