Track Review: John Tocco // Did You Mean It?

A long-standing artist in the Long Island music community, singer-songwriter John Tocco has gained a reputation for engaging music with insightful lyrics. Combining elements of modern funk and soul with 1980’s pop melodies, John has created a define, glitzy and intriguing sound. Initially, a guitarist who has performed and recorded with artists like The New York Voices, Shoba Narayan and Timothy Mitchum Jr., John Tocco has a wealth of experience on which to draw.

Releasing his well-received debut album Almost On The Bright Side in April 2020, John launched himself into a solo project to become an independent performing artist. Not one to step back from challenges, he set the task of releasing one single per month in 2020 – what he calls “The Singles Project”. The songs will eventually culminate as a second album, but for now, they are independent tracks. The most recent single as part of “The Singles Project” is ‘Did You Mean It?’



Moving from a folk-inspired sound in the album Almost On The Bright Side, John explores rock and funk influences in the more recent singles. ‘Did You Mean It?’ meanders from the funk-rock-inspired ‘Smile’ and ‘Here 4 U’, somewhat reminiscent of the iconic Earth, Wind & Fire incorporating elements of shoegaze and bedroom-pop. Of course, it does not diverge entirely from funk-rock with dynamic rock instrumentation, particularly the guitar riffs throughout the song.

Touching on elements of heartache and frustration in relationships, John Tocco engages a listener with insightful and poignant lyricism. What I find especially interesting is how John effortlessly immerses folk-esque vocals with funk-rock instrumentation – it’s like Simon and Garfunkel over Chicago. A magic blend that requires skill to produce and John Tocco has that skill.

“‘Did You Mean It?’ is a song I wrote from the perspective of a liar getting a taste of their own medicine from their partner. While they are granted forgiveness, they ultimately realise that their lover was guilty of the same crimes.” – John Tocco on ‘Did You Mean It?’

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