This is Reagon's big moment.
This is Reagon's big moment. After building an ardent cult following with a string of unforgettable, if not wildly commercial releases, she's taking a crack at wooing mainstream listeners. But unlike other underground heroes who don shiny musical duds to be more universally enticing, Reagon hasn't lost sight of who she is. The tunes here have all of the earthy love-poetry and sharp-eyed observations that have become her signature. The difference is the input of producer Street, who buffs Reagon's melodies so that they shine like perfect little pop jewels. Easy-paced acoustic-pop strummers like "Big Love" and "Postive Information" glisten like ready-made triple-A radio hits, while the expansive, Southern-blues-laced "Mountain Top" begs to be heard in a live setting. Perhaps best about Reagon is how well she rocks out an anthemic stomper like "I Hate/I Love." In all, Toshi is a textbook study on how to cross over properly.—LF