"So Far" is Dean's 2003 release, available to hear at http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=586663. His description there say that the music we'll here is a mix of Tom Petty and The Wallflowers, each of which can certainly lay a claim to fame in music. Dean's been all over the entertainment industry, but this work is what brings him back to his love of music, especially his 70's and 80's pop rock influences. His main goals lie in connection, be it in getting feedback from his listeners or just writing a song with an idea to convey to those who will listen.
The first two songs on this page are newer tracks, so we'll actually start with the third track listed, "Freedom Ain't Free." Now, what may be my favorite part here is that each song has a quick little artist-written description. For this one, it's "a rollicking rock sing-a-long." The downside is that we only get 30-second clips here, without buying the CD. I know, sad, right? But hopefully an impression is made. As for this first one, it's a rocking start to the album for sure, gearing us right up for more.
"Crazy Love" is of course about a troubled relationship. It's straight out of the 90's if you ask me, fully based on the guitar and letting everything else take a pretty typical beat in the background. The vocals are gritty enough to feel some pain, but good enough to sing along to. I can't say I love the song itself, but the sound? Yes, more please.
"A classic rock song about redemption" just screams Bruce to me, as we go in to "Too Much To Deny." Wait - Mellencamp is a more accurate assessment, I think. It's steady and misty, chugging right along in the same vein as the rest of the album thus far. I like it. I could see where hearing some of these a few times over would eventually gain you a new favorite song. Also, it seems like the clips are getting longer, which is sort of awesome.
"I'll Be There" is not the Jackson 5 cover I always hope for when I see this title. Instead, it's taking us into an even grittier sounding number from Dean. I have to say, for this one, it's a little tough to enjoy. There's a threshold for grit that can definitely be passed, and here it is. While there's even a slight Willie Nelson sound going on, I just can't get into this one, sorry.
No pre-description on this on, "One More Chance," but there's something familiar about the strums on the way into the song that build up anticipation. And the message really winds up being straight forward: dude is asking for one more chance after having screwed up. Something a song just needs to be simply understandable like this, with a good guitar and back beat on a regular drum set. This hits the mark on all areas.
"Truth In Love" has the note "nice layered guitar work in this one." I don't necessarily find it great to read a bit of boasting by an artist about their own music - if this was a fan's comment, that's different and acceptable. Anywhos, listening on in, it is nice guitar layering. I remember hearing instrumental work like this live my first week of college - dude just kept recording layers from his guitar to loop over one another. It was awesome. Let me pull back from my memories, though, that's really what this sound's liable to do to anyone.
Truth in this "song about a universal theme," "Going Home." There's always something incredible classic and heartwarming about any song like this, even if you're not entirely sure where home may be. In this case, it's where the memories lie, and Dean's got it on the button right here. Just sit and think on this one, please. It could definitely be a lot of things to a lot of people.
"Reinforcements" is said to incorporate a Celtic feel. Now, personally, off the bat, yes, I can hear it as an Irish field song, with the wind controlling so much of the simple sound. This Leonard Cohen up just an octave or two, then taken over by Bryan Adams. Yeah, I know, lots of references on this particular review.
Apparently the ending of "Change For Good" is very much like a rock anthem, which is tough to hear when you're not going to get the whole song. Oh well, have to go with what you've got! The song is a bit depressing, but sort of a kick in the ass. You're in charge of your destiny, so get off your butt and make the changes you want to create a better life.
"Living Love" is second from the end, with this very sweet violin part involvement. This intro and instrumental parts of this are simply lovely. While the lyrics stand on their own and are very sweet, I found myself just excited to get to the next instrumental bridge between verses. That was where this song shown the brightest.
Final song time - "Innocense Lost" (exact spelling from the site… 'innocence' next time…). This one's got a beat like an old Irish folk song for the bars, but obviously isn't trying to be that. All that said, a nice ending, though a different tone than I would have expected on the whole.
Sounds I Would Add to My Playlist:
- "Freedom Ain't Free"
- "One More Chance"
- "Going Home"
- "Living Love"
Yah know, I like Dean Taylor's music. It's very reminiscent of bands and singers that are just modern classic performers, whose songs you can't get out of your head, or at least invoke an immediate smile. They cover a lot of ground, and rely solely on their relate-ability to maintain an audience's attention. This is an earlier release, and I wish you the best of luck on continuing your musical journey, Mr. Taylor!