Ben Taylor releases 11 beautifully crafted songs of varied tastes to transfix listeners on Listening
By Danielle Boise
Following his critically acclaimed 2008 release, The Legend of Kung Folk – Part 1 (the Killing Bite), Ben Taylor is set to release his latest full-length album from Sun Pedal Recordings/ILG on August 14, 2012. This release is aptly named Listening, and contains 11 beautifully crafted songs of varied tastes to transfix the listener.
Listening brings together–in perfect harmony–the styles of folk, pop, soul and some reggae with a dash of country-western elements sprinkled into the album. Taylor’s wayward sound is simple and uncomplicated by an overly produced sound; he takes the listener on a journey of self-reflection of expression through gorgeous questioning and yearning for those answers.
Listening starts off with the title track, with Taylor’s raspy vocal quality he spurns thought provoking emotion into “I get the feeling like I can’t go on. How much longer, how much longer? Oh.”
“Oh Brother” has this funky soulful sound to it.
“Not Alone” by far is my favorite track on the entire album. There is a haunting quality to it that almost feels like one is spiraling down the rabbit hole, but to know that there is someone there to catch you is reassuring.
“Giulia” brings some old school country-western feel to the album with some folksy-ness blended into the track. “World Are Made of Paper” reminds me of something you’d hear on the 1960’s “Mad Men” television show. It has that quiet pop quality, like The Carpenters, to it.
“Vespa’s Song” contains a mix of soulful beats mixed generously with striking voice. “America” funks it up a bit with a bit of reggae thrown in for good measure. “Dirty” is a bit poppy in sound with a layer of funk thrown into it. “Burning Bridges” is superstitiously delightful as the words feel reflective set to an upbeat tempo, almost seeming like a contradiction in terms, but works well with the song. “You Could Be Mine” makes me think of just about any Simon and Garfunkel song. The last track, “Next Time Around,” rounds out the album in a quiet manner with a country-western feel to it that makes the listener feel like they should be at a country fair with twinkling lights strung above them as they are slow dancing with their favorite person.
Ben Taylor reminds me in a way of another (James) Taylor, with his ability to strike accord with the listener on a deeply personally level through his song delivery method. Listening is enjoyable as it defies the boundaries of limitations by stepping out of any one particular genre by containing 11-tracks that will take the listener through a plethora of emotions and stylistic needs.
For more information on Ben Taylor, visit www.bentaylormusic.com.