01 February 2006

Stoned Part I

I'm old enough to have lived through the soul, blue-eyed soul, northern soul, and neo soul genres in pop music. I acknowledge and embrace my love for Marvin Gaye and Arthea Franklin, confess to liking Hall and Oates, respect Robert Palmer, was excited by Macy Gray (before she headed off to her Sly Stone-like exile) and listen carefully for whomever puts themselves as the next soul contender.

So when Lewis Taylor first tickled my ears through the good offices of KCRW radio I took notice, but didn't pay quite enough attention. (What is it about post-it notes scribbled with artist names and CD titles?) Well, this (sorry, may require NY Times Registration -- and TimesSelect, too) kicked my ass into buying the CD. (Yes, kids -- buy, don't download from iTunes -- the production and sound quality demand hearing this in all its glory.). There are a lot of superlatives, adjectives, and comparisons being thrown around about Taylor, but “bloody good” is enough for me. His music is informed by lots of sources, and yet sound nothing like any of 'em. And as a one-man performer/producer, he's crafted a sound that is both polished and rough. No small feat. Is it cutting edge? No. But it is great music that rewards repeated listening.

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