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“Stepping into manhood through playful pop perfection”
The opening riff of “Oliver” is all it takes for one to realize that Adam Taylor is Lancaster’s best-kept secret. Where has he been hiding? We need more music like this, tracks that are fun and endearing, have an edge and are memorable even after repeated listens – songs that question what we have been taught rather than simply acquiesce. Just listen to Taylor chant: “Oh, I want it, your stomach, your hips, your legs, your money… the people want you, honey. For a while, I couldn’t trust myself,” words that just roll off the tongue with a singsong quality all their own. Of course, he is addressing a long distance relationship that is fraught with sexual anxieties. The heart, mind, and body are at war with one another. Which direction to choose?
The album continues to build, each track maintaining uniqueness without ever becoming predictable. “Spaghetti Western” is pure rockabilly; think Reverend Horton Heat. Inspired by Ennio Morricone, the narrator is a drifter without a home. He numbs himself by overindulging on whiskey, playing poker games in which he defeats Jesus, and begins a torrid love affair with Kali, the Hindu goddess of destruction who wraps her legs around him and transports him further into glorious hell. Taylor extends an open invitation at the song’s end: “So if you’re with me, grab your whiskey ‘cause tonight we’ll both be gods.” Who wouldn’t want to take a crack at this decadent lifestyle?
Near the album’s end, the deceiver, Lucy, begins to permeate Taylor’s thoughts. A girl he has known since childhood, her crooked smile and black eyes “like a widow in the Nile” keep him from believing anything she says. It’s eerie how much Taylor’s voice channels Jason Mraz here.
Sometimes the best thing to do is start anew. The bluesy and sensual “New York” is evidence of Taylor questing for something. Nostalgic but hopeful, it is about leaving one’s hometown behind in search of fulfillment. As the seventh and final track, the experience is also bittersweet for the listener, who certainly does not want the sharp-witted, humorous singer-songwriter to depart so soon. But alas, we all must move on to the next stage of life, even if reluctant to do so. (Drama Entertainment Group)
Produced, Engineered, and Mixed by Chad Taylor // Mastered by Rodney Mills // Recorded at Atrium Audio in Lancaster, PA