Returning a few years after a somewhat dramatic break from previous label 4AD, Torres Merge Records debut finds her playing a fairly middle-of-the-road version of electro-tinged alt-rock.
While this release escapes the shadow of some acts, Mackenzie Scott’s Torres project found similarities with, it doesn’t excel at breaking into a particularly noteworthy world of her own. At the same time, there’s little to fault here, and many fans will probably find Silver Tongue an enjoyable listen.
Largely led by electronic drums and plush synth pads, Silver Tongue stays in mostly safe territory as Scott considers the development of a loving relationship in real time.
“Good Scare” opens with little melodic content but a charming verse led by the line “you make me wanna write a country song” which precedes an imagining of what that might be like, detailed down to the red pickup truck. “Last Forest” features one of the more interesting drum parts, a glitching, static-topped beat not far off from artists like Thom Yorke or Four Tet.
The album stagnates at times with few standout melodies and the arrangements, as much as they experiment with different electronic sounds, feeling less than lively. “Good Grief shows what Torres can achieve though, a strong chorus melody pairing up with a fuzzy guitar counter with excellent results. The next two tracks drift into ballad territory, but in truth don’t differ much from the slack arrangements throughout the rest of Silver Tongue.
Unlike much of the album, though, “A Few Blue Flowers” and its follow-up “Gracious Day” feel more inspired and lyrically purposeful, which fits well to a mellow musical backing. While not likely to excite or greatly expand Torres’ audience, Silver Tongue may be a return to steady footing for an artist that seemed poised to takeoff and then faltered.