"A real constant with Christine Tobin's music is its underlying jazz sensibility - she always surrounds herself with top drawer jazz people and she too plays her versatile voice like an instrument."
BBC Music Magazine ****
"Tobin’s vocals, veering from acrobatic to sultry, are tailored perfectly for the material, her evocations of time and place precise. Classy
"... there’s a patience and clarity to her handling
of fine poetry, but there’s a tough, bluesy assertiveness to this album too."
"Christine Tobin is inspiring on her own material. But she is in a class of her own singing
"She should be on a global stage rubbing shoulders with fellow troubadours like Cave, Mitchell and Cohen... It's a tribute to the quality of Tobin's writing that there are no weak spots in this excellent collection"
John L Walters, The Guardian ****
"There’s a thrilling, dark timbre to Tobin’s voice that moves you like no other singer."
"One of the most gifted and original singer/songwriters in today’s jazz world."
Ian Carr, BBC Music Magazine
"...A decisive step by a very talented singer
and musician which delivers a fully mature creative vision"
Keith Shadwick, Jazzwise ****
"Both are artists who don’t believe in occupying one creative location until the grass grows over their shoes."
"...Dramatic, rich-voiced singer specialises in idiosyncratic, highly musical poetic vignettes
with a strong sense of story.”
Chris Ingham, Mojo
"You Draw The Line sees Tobin hit what is arguably the best form of her career"
Kevin Le Gendre, Music Week
"Tobin's new version of Leonard Cohen's Everybody Knows is Stunning."
"If her work has the depth of Cohen or Joni Mitchell, can she be described as a jazzsinger
at all? The answer is in her controlled passion, superb timing, phrasing and modulation, which betrays a subtle bebop influence."
Mike Butler, The Metro Manchester
"On the Belfast poet Paul Muldoon’s Horses, she was dreamily evocative..."
"Too humane and humourous to preach, and too intelligent to deliver a formula for life, Christine Tobin is nevertheless fascinated by the pusuit of something that might stand up as The Truth."
"A natural and inventive storyteller"
Robert Shore, The Metro London
"One Christine Tobin album a year is pretty good going - two within a six-month period seems like utter luxury."
John L Walters
JAZZWISE Magazine Dec'16/Jan'17 Issue
Christine Tobin (v), Gareth Lockrane (f), Liam Noble (p), Phil Robson (g), Richard Jones (vn), Kate Shortt (clo), Dave Whitford (b) and Simon Lea (d). Rec. 2014-2015
Referencing blues, folk, jazz and Americana, singer, songwriter and composer Christine Tobin'sPelt completes a dazzling quadriptych of songbook albums made up of Tapestry Unravelled (2010),Sailing To Byzantium (2012) and A Thousand Kisses Deep (2014). Setting poems and lyrics by the Pulitzer Prize-winning Irish poet Paul Muldoon,Pelt is marked by its timbral richness and breathtaking imaginative scope. From the pulsing, groove-laden opener 'Zoological Positivism Blues' to the vast open spaces conjured up in 'Horses', the album achieves a remarkable equipoise of the hard-hitting and the understated. Whether in the beautiful, zen-like 'WInd & Tree' or the rambunctious 'Big Idea', Tobin's music never fails to leave its plaintive melodic mark. The preludial opening of the title track - a haunting solo flute line consisting of three expanding phrases which, when repeated, is double-tracked to create a ghostly resonance, followed by damped and plucked piano strings set against a backdrop of recorded rain - is typical of the utterly distinctive soundworlds that Tobin creates. Featuring a cast of players who are all perfectly attuned to Tobin's vision and artistry, Pelt is one of the year's must-hear albums.
THE IRISH TIMES December 2016
PELT - sprawling and enthralling *********
Singer and composer Christine Tobin hooked up with Belfast poet Paul Muldoon at the Kilkenny Arts Festival a few years ago, and that one-off collaboration has grown into this sprawling, enthralling song cycle of mock epic proportions. Pelt strikes that most elusive of balances between familiarity and strangeness, by turns recalling Tom Waits, Kate Bush and Joni Mitchell, without being beholden to any particular genre or influence.The Dublin-born, New York-resident singer has set Muldoon’s wittily nuanced words (and some lyrics written specifically for the project) to music that veers from grungy, post-industrial grooves to wispy romanticism to abstracted contemporary classical, all played with punkish attitude by an excellent ensemble that includes guitarist Phil Robson, pianist Liam Noble and flautist Gareth Lockrane.
“…feisty original music written by Tobin for a programme that covers the Americana waterfront. The album is a masterclass in songcraft.”
BBC Music Magazine *****
"Tobin’s vocals, veering from acrobatic to sultry, are tailored perfectly for the material, her evocations of time and place precise. Classy and lovely.”
The Observer ****
“PELT is marked by its timbral richness and breathtaking imaginative scope... a remarkable equipoise of the hard-hitting and the understated... one of the year’s must-hear albums.”
"Pelt strikes that most elusive of balances between familiarity and strangeness, by turns recalling Tom Waits, Kate Bush and Joni Mitchell, without being beholden to any particular genre or influence... music that veers from grungy, post-industrial grooves to wispy romanticism to abstracted contemporary classical, all played with punkish attitude..”
The Irish Times ****
“...there’s a patience and clarity to her handling
of fine poetry, but there’s a tough, bluesy assertiveness to this album too. Tobin sounds almost as scornfully sardonic as 60s Dylan... Muldoon and Tobin make a powerful team.”
"Sexy, gutsy, bluesy and beautiful."
Lionel Shriver, Orange prize-winning author of ‘We Need To Talk About Kevin’
"a jewel of the London jazz scene, streets ahead of the pack… She should be on a global stage, rubbing shoulders with fellow troubadours like Cave, Mitchell and Cohen.”
John L Walters The Guardian, May 08
(Secret Life Of A Girl)
"This group, by drawing their influence from diverse sources, has freed jazz from the
American concepts and this universality
appealed to me more than anything else”
“What draws me to her is her sound. I really like what she does and I find myself listening to what she says. I’m reminded that the voice is the primary source of all music.”
Mike Figgis film director
"That jazz is more about getting into its ‘spirit’ than sticking-to-genres was highlighted in this group.”
The Hindustan Times
“Christine Tobin has a particular aura of wandering on thin ice above the abyss of fatal threats. Her glowing voice is stamped by a sadness cloaked in beauty, like in a never exploding drama.”
Ulrich Olshausen Frankfurter Allgemeiner
“Christine’s own lyrics often echo Cohen’s
style of poetry. “I will let you flatter me/ Stroke
my silken hair/ And when you tousle with my shyness/ Make you believe I really care” –
sounds like Leonard to me.”
Lionel Schriver in Jazzwise Magazine 2008
“One of the most gifted and original singer/songwriters in today’s jazz world.”
BBC Music Magazine
“A singer who refuses to be boxed in
Clive Davis, The Sunday Times
“Tobin is forthright , self-revalatory , eclectic
John Fordham, The Guardian
“The Tobin voice is simply peerless.”
“Definitely one of the country’s very
Linton Chiswick ,Time Out
“One of the most creative vocalists on the contemporary scene."
“One of the finest vocal jazz collections in years”
John Lewis, Time Out
“Great timing is a gift given to few and one that Tobin possesses, along with an exciting tendency to take the darker path.”
“The Voice is a killer.”
“Too humane and humorous to preach, and too intelligent to deliver a formula for life, Christine Tobin is nevertheless fascinated by the pursuit of something that might stand up as The Truth”
Jazz UK J. Fordham
"What PJ Harvey achieved in rock and what Bjork did to dance music Christine Tobin could do to jazz - for the music's benefit."
“You Draw The Line is about Tobin setting her own philosophical agenda and crafting a personal creative lexicon that shakes those horribly glib terms such as tradition, modernity and post-modernity into a heady cocktail of originality.”
Kevin Le Gendre, Music Week
"She's got one of those voices that can move from pure, pastoral-edged folk whimsy to big angry blues mama in a single phrase; from world-weary interpreter of show tunes to howling rock diva within a single note...............one of the finest vocal jazz collections in years."
"Tobin's voice has an edge that recalls more over-the-top singers - the dangerous bite of Cathy Berberian, the damaged croak of Marianne Faithfull - without ever lurching into melodrama. She performs with a controlled drama."
Jazzwise hail her as "probably the most adventurous jazz singer of her generation in this country… This album leaves the back door open for fans of P.J. Harvey or Joan as Policewoman to get into her music."
Jazzwise May 2008
"lovely, many-hued voice – discreet and yet characterful. A class act."
Chris Parker, VORTEX online, May 08
"This imaginative set may be the one that finally pushes her towards wider recognition."
John Bungey, The Times ***
“…an album of cherishable ambition and
Robert Shore, London Metro
“This might be the most transparently intimate
and assured statement so far of what the unique singer Christine Tobin is all about”
John Fordham Jazz UK
“…it's a tribute to the quality of Tobin's writing that there are no weak spots in this excellent collection” ****