Picks and Pans Review: Little Things

updated 06/07/2004 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/07/2004 01:00AM

Toby Lightman

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Singer-songwriter Toby Lightman, 26, has a big voice for such a petite woman (she's 5'1", 95 lbs.). J With her soul-powered delivery and bluesy rasp, this Cherry Hill, N. J., native brings a distinct R&B flavor to her savory folk-pop. Little gems such as the first single "Devils and Angels," with its slyly funky mid-tempo groove and vaguely Middle Eastern strains, and "Every day," one of several lovely, acoustic-guitar-based ballads, showcase Lightman's bright talent. Other album highlights include the rootsy, Bonnie Raitt-ish "The River" and the sexy come-on "Front Row," on which Lightman flirts with a fan at one of her shows: "Are you making passes/While I'm pleasing the masses?" While Little Things ultimately lacks a killer cut, it offers plenty of small pleasures.

FOLK-POP

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