Tuned In To Music

Reflections from a lifetime

Review: Lewis Taylor, Stoned

Lewis Taylor has had a hard time attracting an audience and on the basis of this CD it’s difficult to understand why.  His musical stew is a combination of three parts classic soul and R&B, one part psychedelia, and one part rock with several pinches of electronica thrown in for flavor.  He co-writes and co-produces with collaborator Sabrina Smyth, sings and plays all the instruments on “Stoned”.  Think Prince without the overwhelming self-absorption.   Not only does he do everything, he does it all well.  The tracks on “Stoned” are varied, hook filled, pleasant at worst and terrific at best. 

So why hasn’t he caught on?  Beats me.  Part of the problem may be that he’s from London and his decidedly American-style soul isn’t where the UK audience is at.  He broke on the UK music scene in the early ’80s when he was added to the Edgar Broughton Band a blues-rock outfit from the late ’60s that had reformed and was attempting a comeback.  He released two psychedelic rock guitar albums as Sheriff Jack in the mid ’80s and then nothing until he resurfaced in the mid ’90s performing the rock/electronica/psychedelia tinged soul captured on “Stoned” under his own name.  Maybe his varied musical history confused listeners who expected the old and didn’t like the new or who would have liked the new but didn’t listen because they expected the old.  Whatever the case may be, he seems to keep flying under the radar.  Shame, really, because he’s making fine music.

“Stoned” on the Hacktone Records label is “compiled and packaged for US release” and appears to be drawn from two albums, “Stoned Pt. 1” and “Stoned Pt. 2” that were released in the UK on Taylor’s own Slow Reality label in 2004.  If you like classic soul/R&B/pop or the currently popular nu-soul based on these styles check “Stoned” out.  Taylor is a talented musician and song writer who is leagues ahead of some of the current crop of nu-soul acts that owe more to mass marketing techniques than musical ability.

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06/03/2007 - Posted by | CD reviews, music

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