Monday, January 31, 2005
Getting Salty with Lewis Taylor
Lewis Taylor - Lucky
Lewis Taylor - Bittersweet
So we begin the week with a personal favorite of mine, Mr Lewis Taylor.
Lewis came onto the scene in 1996 in the wave of nu-soul led by D'Angelo and Erykah Badu. However, unlike these artists, Lewis chose to steer clear of the laidback grooves and instead head deeply into a more progressive soul including multilayered harmonies, electric guitar, the works. It's worth pointing out that Mr Taylor plays all the instruments on the album himself - a sign of his not to be sniffed at talent.
Maybe it was due to his earlier years as a punk artist but I don't think Lewis Taylor has ever comfortably fitted in to the nu-soul bracket. Perhaps this is why his albums have never sold as well as you would expect. You can find more about the man here.
The two tracks I have for you today are off his self titled debut album as Lewis Taylor. The first one, Lucky, is still his biggest hit by a long way which isn't saying too much. The record company strove to promote it by chucking him on the National Lottery show - hardly the best audience for an experimental soul artist.
The song works round a slow funk groove and features a common subject in Lewis Taylor songs: frustrated love. I forgot to mention that he also performs the backing harmonies on the tracks as well and blends them beautifully here.
The second track, Bittersweet, is a slightly more upbeat number than Lucky but still maintains that brooding edge to the music. This was the song that first introduced me to Lewis and I love the way it slowly builds up into a killer epic chorus before breaking down again into a funky loop. Lewis has been criticized for sounding too much like Marvin Gaye but in my eyes that can only be a plus.
See what you think and if you like it you can buy the album HERE.
Lewis has made three more albums since which have, sad to say, slowly reduced in quality but if you like what you hear let me know and due to my vast collection of Lewis Taylor music I'll be more than happy to post up some more in the near future.
Posting may be a bit sporadic this week but I have got some killer funk for you when I have the time to post it.......