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Lewis Taylor

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Album Review

When Lewis Taylor's self-titled debut burst upon the U.K. pop and R&B scenes, punters and gasbag critics were beside themselves in trying to offer enough superlatives to describe its seamless blend of soul, sophisticated pop, streetwise grooves and laid-back white-boy funk. Taylor, who possesses a voice that is infinitely more emotionally expressive than Jamiroquai's without all the faux-hippie hyperbole, or forced Stevie Wonder-isms. Taylor waltzed onto the pop music stage and created, seemingly effortlessly, the same kind of record that Paul Weller has wet dreams about. From the outset, Taylor is reminiscent of other modern visionaries in that he composes his own tunes, plays all the instruments, and is the entire range of voices. He also produces his material with Sabina Smyth. From the shimmering synths that so languidly open "Lucky," with a snaky electric guitar creeping through the percussion and a bassline that immediately goes to the bottom of the spine, the listener knows that this is a pop encounter of the third kind. Oh yeah, it's slick, it's got sheen, but its also got that unspeakable kind of murk in its tracks that breathe and infect. Taylor's gorgeous tenor is full of a masculine ache that asks directly for what it wants — check the tough drum and jazzy guitar shimmy of "Bittersweet," the blessed-out transcendence of "Track," ( which Hall & Oates would have killed to record), the spiny backbeat funky bass-driven of "Whoever," or the dubby soul of "Song." Considering that all of these cuts are on the first half of the record sets a new watermark. But cuts six-ten deliver an entirely different kind of payload. The easy blue-eyed rock and shake of "How," the burning blue sex balladry of "Betterlove," the tense steamy drama at the heart of "Right," and the backbone dropping languor of "Damn" are the precursors to the album's glorious closer "the a cappella "Spirit," which is sexier than anything Take 6 ever fantasized. This is a debut that doesn't just show promise; it delivers brilliance.

Customer Reviews


Buy this and you will not be disappointed. One of my favourites albums of the past decade I had the chance to see one of his last live shows in London and again it was pure brilliance. All tracks have luscious melodies throughout with perfect arrangements. Sure there are nods to greats gone by (Wilson, Wonder, Lennon etc) but sit back and enjoy one of the most under-rated artists ever to come out of the UK

Top 10 of all time!

I bought this on CD when it came out back in 1996. And I still listen to it on a regular basis.
All the comparisons (Wilson, Gaye, etc) only hint at this guys brilliance, and the well crafted left-of-field melodies and sounds only highlight the genius of this album. This was a critics dream when released, but never quite reached the heights it deserved. Such a shame he no longer releases music, and devastated I never got to see him play live!

Slow burner

Was it intended as a concept album? Was it something else? Nevertheless this is one of the greatest soul albums of the past 35 years. Dark, emotive, midnight soul. Written by one of the real musicians. A creative force. Sometimes the space is just as important as the notes that surround it.
I wonder what he'll do next?


Born: London, England

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '90s

Neo-soul multi-instrumentalist Lewis Taylor began his professional career as guitarist for the re-formed Edgar Broughton Band before stalking the limelight on his own under the pseudonym Sheriff Jack, and later under his given name. Despite outspoken support from heavyweights such as Elton John, David Bowie, Jools Holland, Paul Weller, and others, as well as critical support, Taylor never found mass public scrutiny but has even remained below the radar of much of the underground listening public....
Full Bio
Lewis Taylor, Lewis Taylor
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Customer Ratings