Toby & The Whole Truth – Ignorance Is Bliss – review

CD:
Toby And The Whole Truth
Price:
£20

Reviewed by:
Rating:
5
On August 14, 2020
Last modified:August 14, 2020

Summary:

Jepson has created a masterful re-master! If you’re not familiar with Toby’s solo work, now is the time to go back in time & relive a slice of rock history! Jepson has left no stone unturned as he presents to the world his own bold, brash and beautiful story with the aptly titled ‘Ignorance Is Bliss’ album.

Toby & The Whole Truth ‘Ignorance Is Bliss’ 25th Anniversary Remastered Edition

Rewind 25 years and Toby Jepson has embarked on his first solo album release Ignorance Is Bliss under the moniker of Toby and the Whole Truth

Since his band, Little Angels (LA) bit the dust in 1994. You could perceive it as the end of an era for Toby et al. As LA fade away to memory. Move forward to 1995 and the Alt-rock scene is soaring with bands like Garbage and Supergrass and newcomers Foo Fighters and Evanescence who have taken over from grunge’s hero’s Pearl Jam and Sound Garden.   Now, that is a tough bunch to try and make waves amongst, especially as a solo artist. Having said that Toby is undeterred, psyched up and armed with an arsenal of bitter-sweet emotions. Jepson has left no stone unturned as he presents to the world his own bold, brash and beautiful story with the aptly titled ‘Ignorance Is Bliss’ album.

Re-released and remastered for its 25th Anniversary, included are two previously unreleased tracks Get Your Feet on the Ground and Spiritually Bankrupt.  The rip-roaring guitar solos and vocals sound higher quality than on the original release of Ignorance Is Bliss. With a deluxe songbook available on pre-orders, it explains the nature behind the songs and includes artwork by Toby’s talented daughter. Jepson has created a masterful re-master!

If you’re not familiar with Toby’s solo work, now is the time to go back in time and relive a slice of rock history!

Track by track overview of Ignorance Is Bliss

Don’t be fooled by the melodic opening bars on Some People are Better Than Others as it crashes raucously into a jam.  Jepson’s smooth rhyming vocals reveal his disposition as they lay easily over this angry crescendo, with a voluptuous Slash styled solo guitar sound, thanks to Russell Godwin.  

The poignant Better Off Without Me has a little bit of grunge vibe. With distorted guitars and off beats; it projects the way Jepson was probably resonating with himself at the time.  It’s a good job Toby is a man of perseverance as he hasn’t quite managed the act of Slipping Through Your Fingers, the stormy number, co-written with Russ Ballard is evocative in its revelations.

We’ve all had one of those days and Haven’t Got the Strength is a brilliant
descriptive song about trying to overcome the dark depressing defeatist days. You feel the force of Jepson’s vindication as this melancholy hard rock hits you straight on.

Let’s talk Bond, James Bond, double-crossing agents if you will. Toby has found himself scorned but not defeated by his feelings and his circumstances back in 1995

Described by Toby as having an Eastern European folk vibe. The melodic chorus of Wind Blows Hard reminds me of Harry Chapin’s Cats in the Cradle, which was infamously covered by 90’s rock sensations Ugly Kid Joe. A great little ditty that puts you into a positive mood and the vibe keeps getting brighter. All Heal In Time is a positive song and gives you warm fuzzies with it’s 70’s ambience.

Let’s talk Bond, James Bond, double-crossing agents if you will. Toby has found himself scorned but not defeated by his feelings and his circumstances back in 1995. I Won’t Be With You has to be the feature track of the album. Long before  Chris Cornell performed You Know My Name for the film Casino Royal – Jepson has nailed the essence of that familiar sound. It’s a blistering powerhouse, standing out and leaving the rest of the album somewhat behind in vigour.

Save Me From Myself is a leftover but not forgotten song from the Little Angels (LA) days, co-wrote with LA, Bruce Dickenson but with no actual input from Bruce on Ignorance is Bliss. It’s a wholesome song with a Bon Jovi appeal.  You may recognise the hypnotic harmonic riff and words ‘with friends in high places/out of sight out of mind ‘ verse/chorus on the wonderfully acoustic Out Of Sight Out Of Mind a firm favourite with fans, played many times live by Toby.

With a slap-pop bass beat, Harder all the Time gives way to a Red Hot Chilli Peppers feel. It’s the summer breeze in your face as you cruise along in your Mazda MX5 with the top down. Jepson’s vocals bop-a-long to the patter of the beat as the soaring guitars roar down on you like the sun beating in your face.

Open Your Mind was the last song written/added to the album and it means business; packing a punch it’s brash and makes for a memorable album closer.

With two additional previously unreleased bonus tracks:

Get Your Feet on the Ground is a funky rock number inspired by Toby’s at the time infatuation with Lenny Kravitz. Filled with dirty blues rock and roll and sultry guitars, which showcase a swish flamboyant side of Jepson.

A great track to close the remastered Ignorance is Bliss album. Spiritually Bankrupt (co-written with Cliff Wade) was almost a lost track. But thanks to the technical wizardry of engineer Simon Francis the song was saved. And it made its hypotonic, hazy, sitar sound of Aerosmith meets the Beatles on to the album.

Ignorance Is Bliss is a pivotal part of Toby’s career. It is a record made from life’s elixir: a huge heap of inspiration, add a big dollop of staunchness, with equal measures of bitterness mixed and sprinkled with masses of positivity. Giving you in return a delightful consommé of his endeavours and shared experiences.

If you enjoy this, I think you are going to relish Toby’s next solo album.

Order Your copy of Ignorance Is Bliss: https://tobyjepson.bigcartel.com/

https://tobyjepsonofficial.com/

Toby Jepson

Tracklisting

1. Some People Are More Equal Than Others
2. Better Off Without Me
3. Slipping Through Your Fingers
4. Haven’t Got The Strength
5. The Wind Blows Hard
6. All Heal In Time
7. I Won’t Be With You
8. Save Me From Myself
9. Out Of Sight Out Of Mind
10. Harder All The Time
11. Open Your Mind
12. Get Your Feet On The Ground (previously unreleased)
13. Spiritually Bankrupt (previously unreleased)

Jepson has created a masterful re-master! If you’re not familiar with Toby’s solo work, now is the time to go back in time & relive a slice of rock history! Jepson has left no stone unturned as he presents to the world his own bold, brash and beautiful story with the aptly titled ‘Ignorance Is Bliss’ album.

About Alex English