Russell Taylor - Confessional (2009)

Russell Taylor
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Russell Taylor is an artist who has a sound that is both timeless and contemporary. You hear Taylor's music on his latest CD Confessional, and you know who some of his influences are. At the same time, Taylor has a sound that is rooted in what is happening now. In short, Taylor is not beholden to the classic music he heard while growing up, but he doesn't run from the past.

In the end, Taylor gives his listener a record that fuses the classic sound and feel to make the old school folks fondly recall the heyday of the Minneapolis sound while maintaining enough of that contemporary urban swag to keep those new school heads nodding.

Russell Taylor is an artist who has a sound that is both timeless and contemporary. You hear Taylor's music on his latest CD Confessional, and you know who some of his influences are. At the same time, Taylor has a sound that is rooted in what is happening now. In short, Taylor is not beholden to the classic music he heard while growing up, but he doesn't run from the past.

In the end, Taylor gives his listener a record that fuses the classic sound and feel to make the old school folks fondly recall the heyday of the Minneapolis sound while maintaining enough of that contemporary urban swag to keep those new school heads nodding.

Part of what makes Taylor's sound work is that he doesn't sacrifice strong lyrical content. Taylor proves that he can spin a good story on the song "Press Pause." The song tells the story of a woman who repeatedly runs to the narrator after being mistreated by her man. The narrator feels himself being drawn into a situation in which he is attracted to a woman even though he senses that the situation will not end well for him. He tries to tell the woman that he wants to keep his distance even as more of her personal items wind up in his house as becomes apparent in the song's memorable hook: "Press pause/is that a toothbrush I saw/Leaving  your draws on the bathroom floor."

Confessional's mid tempo and fast songs are good, but the ballads are the tunes where Taylor's sensitive writing and feathery tenor stand out. Notable ballads include "Blueprint," "1 U Run 2," and "Another Life." Still, Taylor has that ability to make songs that prompt the listener's ears to perk up. The funky rocker "Let Me Love U" wins the prize on Confessional. "Let Me Love U" is a cry for the object of Taylor's desire to leave her indifferent lover and let Taylor love her. This song goes from blues, to funk and rock, and serves as a strong final song. Confessional is a well-balanced record, and Taylor proves a talented singer capable of excelling in a number of styles. Recommended.

By Howard Dukes

 

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