Between being the progeny of a highly musical family and being named for legendary songwriter James Taylor, it seems for singer/songwriter Taylor Alexander music isn’t as much a pursuit as it is a self-fulfilling prophecy. After all, at age 15 years old he told his father he was going to record an album called Art, and now Taylor has made good on that promise with his new 3-track EP of the same name.
Melodic acoustic is Taylor’s weapon of choice and his songs reflect his deep-seeded love of fellow songwriter Jon Mayer (in fact Taylor does sound eerily like his idol) with hints of Jack Johnson thrown in for good measure (see: “Deadly”). “Emiline” is a down tempo demure track with finger picked melody and Taylor’s equally demure vocal delivery. Thematically, the track is an homage piece to a camaraderie, inspiration and encouragement rife with vivid lyrical imagery. Easily radio ready, this one is arguably Taylor’s best foot forward. “Dream Boy (& Song Girl) quickens the pace with a country-tinged acoustic progression laid over slight backing percussion and more of Taylor’s crooning. Quirky in its delivery, “Deadly” opens to intermittent strums over beat boxing before percussion assumes the beat work and the acoustic takes the melody. Groovy with the right amount of swagger this one features fill electric work until the rap solo takes the track not only to the outro but also to a whole other level. It almost evokes a G Love feel to the track. Precise in its composition and execution, this is my favorite track on the album.
With such a lush musical heritage, the caliber of this album isn’t remotely shocking at all. Though led by his strong vocal ability and foundation guitar prowess, the shiniest facet on the album is his songwriting ability (certainly living up to his namesake). His emotive words are relatable and the stuff of the everyman leaving my only gripe of the album being I wish Art were full-length with seven more songs on it. I say Taylor is a bright spot in the songwriter genre that has become all too dim as of late.
I give this 3.5/5 Skopes.
Christopher West – firstname.lastname@example.org