Album: I Learned The Hard Way
Release Date: September 15th, 2017
Award-winning New Brunswick-based theatre performer Alicia Toner is dazzling with her debut album, I Learned The Hard Way. While primarily a country album, Toner doesn’t shy away from drawing from pop and Americana influences, and the result is an emotive ten-track debut that will linger in the ears of listeners long after the last song has reached its end.
Opening track “Waves” is a lyric-and-vocal based showcase. While the song itself is openly maudlin, Toner’s perfect pitch and impressive vocal range—honed through years of theatrical performances—carries the track to its completion, her voice nightingale-sweet and undeniably compelling. A soft blend between toe-tapping and crooning, “Waves” is the perfect song to have been chosen to draw the curtain back on I Learned The Hard Way.
Late-album track “Throw Back” livens up the pace, Toner’s voice shedding its sentimentality like a second skin and instead choosing to don a coat of bite and pizzazz. Jazz-influenced, sassy, and alluringly captivating, “Throw Back” is easily both one of the most fun and one of the catchiest tracks on the album.
Varied, masterfully sung, and thoroughly genuine, I Learned The Hard Way isn’t an album to be missed.
My name is Emma Sloan. I am a Canadian content writer, columnist, and published poet. As of 2018, I have five writing credits to my name including Beatroute Magazine, This Side of West, The Martlet, and BALDHIP Magazine, but that list continuously being added to. Follow me on Instagram at @emmacsloan for writing updates and news.