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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible
I bought this album when it first came out in 1996 after seeing Lewis Taylor on 'Later with Jools Holland' and was immediately blown away. To this day it remains one of my top ten albums of all time. Essentially it is soul music, but from an artist who clearly has more than 'The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill', 'Stevie Wonder's Greatest Hits' and 'The Best 60s Soul...
Published on 10 April 2002 by tim-russell@genie.co.uk

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3 of 39 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars WELL, IT'S DEFINITE...
This guy thinks he is/wants to be Marvin Gaye...BUT HE'S NOT! and therein lies the rub.
Trite lyrics. The songs - and I use the term verrrry loosely - sound like he made them up as he went along ('I'll try to keep you satisfied', 'I'll be good to you, baby', 'Fooling 'round with every man in town', 'Can't seem to find a way to get you off my mind', 'Bad luck and...
Published on 19 Oct 2004


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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible, 10 April 2002
By 
This review is from: Lewis Taylor (Audio CD)
I bought this album when it first came out in 1996 after seeing Lewis Taylor on 'Later with Jools Holland' and was immediately blown away. To this day it remains one of my top ten albums of all time. Essentially it is soul music, but from an artist who clearly has more than 'The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill', 'Stevie Wonder's Greatest Hits' and 'The Best 60s Soul Album...Ever' in his record collection.
Lead vocals akin to Marvin Gaye (but with much more contemporary styling) backed with multi-layered, often complex, harmonies of 'Pet Sounds' era Beach Boys are perfectly accompanied by laid-back but seriously gritty funk/hip-hop instrumentation.
The music is predominantly guitar-led with a host of organ and synth sounds in tow, drums a mixture of live loops and electronic percussion. Taylor plays and programs everything and clearly has an understanding of music far above that of your regular chart performer, invoking jazzy chord structures and changes that never suggest an unhealthy fondness for late 70s jazz-funk.
Lyrically there is nothing that's going to make Smokey Robinson consider a career change, the themes being the usual triad of love, lust and insecurity, but everything fits in perfectly with the arrangements and each song is eminently sing-along-to-able.
The album as a whole is darkly dramatic, reminiscent of early Doors (without the panic), Scott Walker (without the self-pitying poetic tendencies) and Stevie Wonder's '71-'77 period.
This album really is superb (the follow-up, Lewis II, is not quite as exciting but still fantastic) and never ceases to amaze me with its originality and atmosphere.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars flawed masterpiece - dark, multi-layered & moody, 13 July 2005
By 
Sebastian Palmer "sebuteo" (Cambridge, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Lewis Taylor (Audio CD)
Balls to the Marvin Gaye comparisons! Clearly Taylor has a wide ranging and eclectic musical mind. Comparisons and stylistic compartments are better applied to lesser talents.
'Whoever' is a standout track for me, having a melodicly strong core that's more easy to follow than some of the other tunes. It also sums up the dichotomy at the heart of a lot of Taylor's music: joyful music with melancholy lyrics. It's true to say that sometimes these pieces appear sprawling, unfocussed even. But that's the psychedelic soul of it!
The upside of this last factor is that sometimes, an already excellent song will morph into something very different, yet just as good, or, as is the case with 'Track', something even better. The playout on this number is phenomenal. Some people would be hard pressed to come up with something this musically compelling and enjoyable in a lifetime of trying. Lewis manages to tack this on the end almost like an afterthought, that's how many good ideas he's got!
My one complaint (and I'm a drummer myself, so this might be why) is the lack of real drums. Apart from what might be live drums on the 6/8 groove of 'How' it's all programmed beats. Given the sprawling, psychedelicized organicism of the bass, guitars, keys and vocals, this strikes me as inconguous and a missed opportunity.
I don't think lyrics are Taylor's strongest card (at least on this album, exceptions being 'Whoever', 'Damn' & 'Spirit'), but they're certainly perfectly ok, just perhaps not as finessed as the music/playing. This is a funny thing too, because of the fabulous quality of his voice, and the way it's so much in the foreground of the album. Throughout multi-layered vocals are a real feature, and the album closes on the sublime acapella of 'Spirit', with a vibe that, like one of the track title's, sums up the feel of this debut album: 'Bittersweet'.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Fautless, 9 Nov 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Lewis Taylor (Audio CD)
Why Lewis Taylor isn't a household name is one of those mysteries of the universe, like where do all the socks in your washing machine go to, that will never be answered. Evoking the spirit of Marvin Gaye, amongst others, every track is a perfect mix of sould and Taylor's own eclectic style. I've never really been into sould and R&B, but there's something about Taylor's music which puts him head and shoulders above anybody recording that type of music today. Maybe it's the beauty in the songs. Myabe it's the three minutes or so it takes before the song breaks into the chorus. Maybe it's the sound of guitars crashing in on Lucky and Damn. There is really no other way to say this - you need this album. Today.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is Lewis taylor for real?, 17 July 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Lewis Taylor (Audio CD)
How LUCKY am I to own this CD? The BITTERSWEET tenderness of the voice. WHOEVER described this as the best Marvin Gaye album that Marvin did not write was not far wrong. TRACK after track of tantalising soul music. Each SONG has its own identity. No BETTERLOVE songs you will ever hear. This is HOW music should feel. Every note in the RIGHT place. DAMN this is good. Music made with such SPIRIT is a joy to behold.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No One Else Compares, 17 Nov 2011
This review is from: Lewis Taylor (Audio CD)
I bought this album in 1996, and it is still my favourite album of all time. Lewis Taylor cannot be compared to any other musician, his music is simply unique. The melodies, the lyrics, the composition - the more you listen, the more you are drawn in to the layers and layers of hypnotic sounds in each song. This is music made to last. The man is a genius. I wish he would keep writing and singing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars it gets better with age, 8 Sep 2010
By 
Mr. Simon J. Brown (uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I first reviewed this album in 1996, on tape, for a college music magazine. I loved it then I lost the promo tape and bought (shock horror) the cd. 14 years later and with the benefit of 14 years of listening refinement and a widening of my musical knowledge and experience I can listen to this album again and you know what? It's better than I remember :)

I'm not a fan of modern soul and R&B music, I often find it trite and over-produced compared to the stripped-back raw sounds of Stax and early Motown. Lewis Taylor proves that you can have lush production and still have the songs stand out and sound utterly compelling. I would reject the Marvin Gaye comparisons, he's not a Marvin Gaye soundalike, you can hear a vast array of influences in here, some of them from as far afield as psychedelia and garage (the rock kind) as well as the usual jazz and funk influences - a bit of Prince here and yes, bit of Marvin Gaye there. But there's more to this than sounding like his influences, Taylor sounds like Taylor and when he went into retirement music lost a true original.

Yes the drums sound overly-programmed in places, yes sometimes the lyrics lack depth but Lewis Taylor lays out a blue-print here of how soul could sound and it's as valid a musical statement as any of the far better known material put out over the last 15 years by far more celebrated artists. This album stands as a testament to a great but hugely under-publicized artist and I highly recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spiritual future soul, 15 Aug 2000
By 
Mr. N. Tompkins (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Lewis Taylor (Audio CD)
This is one of those albums that takes a few listens before it's true genius sinks in. It is a beautiful concept of how to re-work soul music for the 21st century. Any one who is into Marvin or Stevie and is from the post generation should definatly check this out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Man of the Future, 27 Jun 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Lewis Taylor (Audio CD)
This is a wonderful record that manages to criss-cross musical boundries without the listener noticing. Lewis Taylor remains an undiscovered genius but i am sure that in the near future he will be recognised as the musical power that his talent dictates. Any one who is waiting for his next album can be satisfied with his duet rendition of 18 with a Bullet, from the soundtrack of 'Lock Stock and Two Smoking Bullets'
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a CD to judge by its cover!, 24 Feb 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Lewis Taylor (Audio CD)
This is the type of music that refuses to be pigeon-holed, a truly eclectic mix..What is clear, however are the haunting, often spooky melodies remeniscent of Marvin Gaye's "What's going on?" The general feel of this excellent debut album is like opening a gift box, layers upon layers of anticipation with a truly satisfying end result. Lewis Taylor, hugely talented, grossly underated...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great CD, 5 Nov 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Lewis Taylor (Audio CD)
Lewis Taylor came to my attention when I heard the track 'Bittersweet' on a compilation. For me this is by far and the way the best track, which starts of slow and funky and finishes with a complete change of style and really rockin'. The only shame is that the track fades out just when its really got you going.
The rest of the album is excellent too, although I gave it 4 stars because the other tracks didn't quite live up to the expectations set by 'Bittersweet'...
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