Thursday, February 01, 2007

Maria Taylor

Maria Taylor - A Good Start
MP3: Maria Taylor - Smile and Wave

I admit it: I like Maria Taylor solo much more than Azure Ray. Not to say I dislike the band, but it certainly required the right kind of mood (sad) to fully get into them. Otherwise it was... boring. And I like a lot of "boring" music, so saying that has to hold some truth. But solo, Taylor's songs move and feel complete, with her on drums, her brother on bass and sister on keys. A family affair indeed. The family got together and recorded in Texas with Spoon's Jim Eno, in Georgia to record with longtime collaborator Andy LeMaster (who Taylor plays with on the Now It's Overhead records) and Memphis with Doug Easley (Cat Power) to make "Lynn Teeter Flower" bloom. It's a very natural sounding record, despite coming to life in so many studios.

"A Good Start" is very much so one to begin the record. While it's been enjoyably different to hear Taylor go so upbeat in a song, she sounds completely comfortable on this one. She's still able to make her own with her trademark harmonies and storytelling. Saddle Creek put this one up for download, so it's the single mayhaps? I hope so, it'd be a really great starting place for new fans.

I would have to say Kate Taylor's swirling key contribution really makes the music end of "Smile and Wave" shine, plain and simple.

The album certainly isn't 100%, but neither was Taylor's last effort "11:11". "Irish Goodbye" seems like an effort to rekindle the magic of "One For the Shareholder", co-written by producer Mike Mogis on the last album, but it sounds awkward and out of nowhere has someone rapping over it. It sounds very forced. Conor Oberst (who?) co-wrote and sings on "The Ballad Of Sean Foley" but his fans excited by this shouldn't be: he's buried under Taylor. The record as a whole takes a listen or two to make complete sense, but once you get there it feels very nice.

"Lynn Teeter Flower" doesn't birth itself on your record shelf until March 6th, but if you preorder it from the Creek they promise it's water will break 2 weeks early to your mailbox.

Oh man, 2 Saddle Creek related releases in 2 posts? Yikes! How hip of me!

{buy maria taylor recordings from saddle creek}

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