Tora‘s latest album, ‘Can’t Buy the Mood’ has me seriously questioning what the hell I did this summer in NY.  With lead singer Joe Lowenthal crooning in my ear on ‘Deviate,’ I let Tora’s lyrics do all the leg work as I lost myself in thought – searching for connection / we forget to live in the now.   These lyrics stuck with me as I continued on the album’s journey into a world of meaty harmonies, purposeful “oohs and ahhs,” and a sense of effortless cool that only exists on album covers. Seriously, have you seen the press shots for these guys as of late?  Those 1930’s suits are every 2012 hipster’s dream. Ugh.   

Anyway, not to insert myself into this review (but doing it anyway – shocker), I recently went on a one-time date with a guy who was visiting from London.  Seeing my chance to finally do something epic in this awful heat, I planned a multi-step NYC tour I deemed both edgy and impressive – I was determined to feel the kind of mystery created in ‘Control.’  To my surprise, all we did was chat in the same bar for four hours, and yet I still felt the spring in my step and the funk in my soul as I skipped home to the tune of ‘Paramount.’ Not having that perfect date, sort of like how the lyrics of ‘Paramount’ don’t quite match the word’s meaning, made me much more receptive of my relatively generic June and July.     

I suppose I forgot that summer, just like this album, is about the beauty of being present.  As cool as the suits and the moody, melted instrumental parts are, Tora’s real purpose here is to give fans an album where in addition to the epic musicality, the underlying message is acceptance.  What a lovely little reminder that it’s the simple things – like making a connection, or hearing the laughter of kids intertwined with a sweet keyboard tune on ‘Tiger’ – that make the seasons memorable. 

So, it’s confirmed: you can’t buy the mood, but Tora will do its very best to set one for you.  And that’s exactly what this album does, turning heavy breaths into heavy baselines or a longing glance into isolated instrumental riffs.  Hell, ‘Ice Bucket’ literally has the birds chirping out the window in the track. While I’m no longer attempting to direct my ultimate summer, I’ll happily use Tora’s smooth compositions to create an aura for a moment or two – but beyond that, I’ll keep in mind to be a little bit kinder to myself.  

Fans can catch Tora on their upcoming ‘Can’t Buy The Mood’ Australian tour on the below dates. Get your tickets HERE.


Stream: LUSTRE
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