Monday, January 31, 2005

Getting Salty with Lewis Taylor

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.......

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sup with this M4A madness? Where are the MP3s?

Junior said...

M4A is just like MP3 though you might need Real Player to play it. I should have them all converted to MP3 soon.

Anonymous said...

Three cheers for putting up Lewis Taylor. Just read in MOJO mag that the dude's just released a new one called the "Lost Album". Go check it out!!!

Junior said...

Cheers for the tip off, I've been waiting for this album for years! I believe it's the original follow up he planned after the release of his debut which was rejected by the record company.

Hopefully it will veer away from the pop leanings of his recent releases and get back to the more rough sound he displayed on his first two albums.

brendan said...

Thank you, thank you, and thank you again; delighted to hear that the "lost" Lewis album will be surfacing. More people should hear this man's music, especially, as you say, the first two albums. The man is a national treasure.

Now I have to go home and dig out some Lewis - looks like it's going to be one of those weekends. :-)

Reggie Jackson said...

Lewis Taylor!!!! I was sent a demo copy and am BLOWN AWAY. "Salty" is my fave. He sounds just like Marvin Gaye during the Leon Ware days. Whatever is stopping this guy's career is seriously a crime. He is now my favorite vocalist, and I KNOW vocalists.

Junior said...

Amen to that Reggie,

I think he was a definite example of coming along at the wrong time -
his merging of rock and soul didn't sit happily with the public's love
of sample heavy R&B though I have a sneaking suspicion he would have
been a lot bigger if people hadn't known he was a white brit. I also
remember a lot of criticism at the time about his similarity to Gaye
in his vocal style but I fail to see how that could possibly be a bad
thing.

Sorry to say that I've listened to his more recent albums and while
they're decent in their own right they're not a patch on Lewis Taylor
or Lewis II. Still one can only hope that his time will come again.

Cheers for the feedback.

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