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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An underground classic - overflowing with ideas
Apparently Taylor expected to be reproached by critics for doing "more of the same" on Lewis II. A little disingenuous perhaps, as there are more textures and density here than on his debut. The rhythm programming is better integrated into the sound too (the back-to-front groove on 'Never Be My Woman' is both clever and entirely succesfull), and there are more real drums...
Published on 2 Aug. 2005 by Sebastian Palmer

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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It ain't no Maxwell !!!!
This is the first CD I've purchased in ages and I still think he has a great voice but this was far to self indulgent for me.
Published on 22 Jun. 2010 by C. Nicholls


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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An underground classic - overflowing with ideas, 2 Aug. 2005
By 
Sebastian Palmer "sebuteo" (Cambridge, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Lewis II (Audio CD)
Apparently Taylor expected to be reproached by critics for doing "more of the same" on Lewis II. A little disingenuous perhaps, as there are more textures and density here than on his debut. The rhythm programming is better integrated into the sound too (the back-to-front groove on 'Never Be My Woman' is both clever and entirely succesfull), and there are more real drums thankfully (tho' still not enough for my tastes - I'm a drummer - Gavin Harrison is superb!). The harpsichord sounds on 'Into You' are a perfect if unexpected choice too.

His molten lava rock guitar is apparent throughout, as are the fabulous multi-layered harmonies, and the amount of musical ideas is staggering, each piece having an almost florid density on one level. For my money the compositions here work better than on his debut album, seeming more 'song-like', driven by the vocal melodies, and therefore somewhat more focussed.

Lewis' bass playing on this album is superb, giving many pieces a lithe panther like groove (check 'I'm On The Floor', whoa Nelly! ... and the guitar solo is pure Jazz Rock - or to use an allegedly dirty word, Fusion - bliss). 'My Aching Heart' has a fantastically baroque vocal melody. And the chorus builds in two sections, and is hair-raisingly groovy. Throughout the piece a funky cowbell beats out the Bossa clave. And what a great middle-eight! So much creativity, it's scary!

The 7/8 funk of 'The Way You Done Me' is particularly groovy, and despite the unusual meter, it's a very accessible song, moving very naturally, and filled with sunshine sounds. The playout rocks nicely too. My favourite track tho', is 'Into You', with a baroque riff to die for, and a chorus that's exhilaratingly elegiac. Opener 'Party' isn't a favourite, it's still very good (particularly after it morphs into the soul-vocal harmony section, which is divine!), but I feel that given other material Taylor had at his disposal ('Waves' for example), it's not his strongest. It may have been chosen as opener due to commercial considerations, an area that's always been troubling as far as Lewis is concerned.

Taylor wanted to release 'You Make Me Wanna' as a single, I dunno if he did or not? This was typically obtuse of him, as, despite being a stupendously good slinky tune, it's not obviously single material (Harrison's drumming on the latter half of the tune really helps bring it into 3-D, and Taylor turns in a nice Hammond solo too). But this maverick tendency to make awkward choices and confound oneself seems to be part of the make-up of a lot of great artists.

All told, a masterly consolidation on the promise of his first set. Island, what schmucks! not supporting and nurturing such a talent... oh, the waste. Still he continued, for a while, to release via his own label, 'Slow Reality'. Buy this now tho', it's gonna be remembered as an underground classic of our era.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lewis Taylor consolidates his place as UK's No 1 soulman, 11 Oct. 2000
By 
Paul Kelly "Paul Kelly" (Poole, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Lewis II (Audio CD)
Some of us were mighty impressed when in 1996 a CD by an unknown Lewis Taylor quietly slipped onto the scene, full of impassioned singing, strange rich textures, quirky forms and irritating yet mesmirising riffs. It garnered five star reviews, but what followed was no national tour, Wembley dates or appearances on Later (ya missed there Jools!). Instead Taylor played a few low key gigs and slipped from sight. Another soul sacrifice, one thought.
Fortunately the sure-footed A&R people at Island Records just told Taylor to go and write and record some more. And thank God he has. Lewis II is a consolidation rather than a revolution, building on and thickening the textures that typified the first album to create an songbook that is dense, musicially sophisticated yet never quite cluttered.
It is all the more remarkable for being an almost completely solo effort, recorded on 8 track, on which Taylor plays every damn instrument save drums. Taylor's soul is moody with faint hints of Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On" in both textures and themes. Taylor is a songs man and the great thing about his latest is that whilst some acts have sold their soul to rhythm, Taylor has kept the beat where it belongs and allowed, vocals, tunes, textures an equal place.
Never less than funky, Taylor embroiders his passionate vocals with a rich carpet of multi-tracked backing vocals, strings, and other effects. Burning guitar solos on the opener "Party" and the stunning "Satisfied" reveal him to be a superbly lyrical axeman as well.
Perhaps not quite as groundbreaking as his debut, Lewis II is undeniably is a cut above and will not be out of place sitting alongside classics by Stevie Wonder, Sly Stone and Marvin Gaye. This soul god is white and wicked. Buy soon and in quantity.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well Worth the Wait, 7 Jan. 2001
By 
Amazon Customer "wobblyang" (BIRMINGHAM, WM United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Lewis II (Audio CD)
Thank God for Lewis Taylor. True, the last few years without his presence haven't been that bad [really], we've had Erykah Badu, D'Angelo, Eric Benet, Jill Scott, Angie Stone and Macy Gray....but we needed a shot of L.T. He's back and it was well worth the wait. Although I had heard from September that LT was due to release his long awaited followup, I hung on and fasted and waited til Chriastmas, when Santa dropped his CD into my eager hands. What can I say? Well, if I want to be harsh, I'll say that nothing can really come close to his debut, which is played on God's stereo; but Lewis II is an absolute gem. 'You Make Me Wanna' is so unbelieveably sexy and lustful; 'I'm On the Floor' is sweeter than sugar, and as for 'Lewis II'...words fail me. The boy is a genius. When he first enhanced our eardrums, it was cool to belong to this clique who loved LT's music. You could sneer, as when you asked, 'Do you like soul?' and they replied, 'Yeah, I like Simply Red.' Fools! I want the whole world to love Lewis Taylor, he deserves it. He has made two wonderful albums and the planet should be singing his praises. I sincerely hope that he tours soon, so we can catch him live. Lewis Taylor is Da Bomb in Barnet - official.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He's done it again., 11 Oct. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Lewis II (Audio CD)
3 years ago, I saw Lewis Taylor live for the first time in Brussels as a support act for Incognito on their European Tour. I was simply blown away and rushed to the record store the morning after ! I think his first album was nothing less than a milestone. I never heard an album that excelled so much in songwriting, arranging, sound and originality.Considering how difficult that is after 40 years of pop history, made it even more amazing ! When "Lewis II" was released I was partly afraid that it could never live up to the perfection of it's predecessor. Well, have I got a surprise for you ! After repeated listenings I can only say that he's done it again. Without copying his first album (which is often the case) he's succeedeed in keeping up the same level of craftsmanship and originality. It's hard to pick a favorite track cos they are all so different. "My Aching Heart", the heavenly "The Way You Done Me" and the beautiful, lushful ballads "Satisfied" and "Blue Eyes" are just a few more examples of this man's incredible talent. If this guy had been born 20 years earlier, he would've easily walked into the Hall of Fame. Now we can only hope that justice will be done.
Danny.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The World is at his feet, 9 Nov. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Lewis II (Audio CD)
When I picked up a copy of Taylor's first album four years ago after hearing a track on a compilation album I had no idea who he was or where he came from, but God, it was as close to musical perfection as anybody could ever get. I thought he'd completely disappeared until, to my delight, Lewis II came along. The cold bleak days were over.
Lewis II perhaps isn't quite as good as it's predecessor (but then that would have been a miracle to achieve that), but is still head and shoulders above every other musical act today. Taylor hasn't lost his ear for a tune and from the moment the opening track, Party, kicks in you know this is going to be another fantastic ride. He slips effortlessly from song to song, be it Party's subtle funk or the aching tenderness of Blue Eyes, never losing that note-perfect voice. Rightfully, he should take his place amongst the soul legends like Gaye and Redding.
If the first, self-titled album, didn't exist, then there would be nothing stopping this album getting five stars. As it is, this doesn't quite satisfy as much as it's predecessor, but it should be a contender for album of the decade. Will somebody please now give Lewis Taylor the recognition he deserves, along with the keys to the world.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting voice, 28 Mar. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Lewis II (Audio CD)
Like this cd a lot, some of it reminds me of what's going on margin gaye . Would recommend to others
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 22 Oct. 2014
This review is from: Lewis II (Audio CD)
Lewis is one of the very best, a musician's, musician, a songwriters songwriter
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lewis Taylor is Beck Hanson with soul!, 18 Sept. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Lewis II (Audio CD)
It's easy to recognise as to why so many well known artists rate this guy so highly. From Paul Weller, Elton John and Chaka Khan to younger stateside musicians Erykah Badu and D'Angelo, these musicians have sung public praise towards the music Lewis Taylor has already released. This album generally continues on from where the last album left off; and again there is extensive use of real instruments (aside from some occasional treated drum loops) and jazz based harmonies.
The sound is clearer and the music generally less dense. His amazing high breathy tenor vocal with its deliciously slow vibrato has matured and now lives higher up in the mix
The song structures are slightly more basic and are therefore more easily accessible, more catchy, less dark, lighter musically and lyrically. Some great guitar solos, especially at the end of 'SATISFIED' and a nice flute solo on the track 'INTO YOU' The songs themselves don't tend evolve as greatly as on the previous release although you still can't deny the incredible talent this man possesses. The lyrics cover the same ground, that of lost love and/or lust love! This music incorporates more than soul which is often a good sign; it's got rock, jazz, funk and a touch of mainstream (to please the record company?) all rolled into the undeniably strong character that Taylor possesses.
Again you can feel the overwhelming presence of Marvin Gaye; from the vocal phrasing to the backing vocals to the harmonic progressions to the arrangements. For example, track one is choc full of Marvin lyrics and phrasing..... When Lewis sings"here's where you should be tucked up here with me, oh darling" this could be an out-take from the 'I WANT YOU' sessions. A stand out track is Track 3, 'THE WAY YOU DONE ME', its 7/4 time signature makes the track flow and it makes you long for a really hot summers day with it's strong acoustic guitar groove. I reckon this could be a single. The album does start out a bit shaky but from this number onwards it's up up all the way!
Another hot track is Track 7 'I'M ON THE FLOOR' which begins in a more experimental mode, as found on his previous songs (especially the b sides), with a treated sample of a crowd of people walking and talking in the street ...very trippy.... which then breaks in an awesome roller coaster vocal melody with a great wah wah bassline. A beautiful string arrangement comes in half way through...yes...this one is more like the first album.
It was going to be extremely hard to improve on the first album, of which I will boldly suggest four years on, to being a classic, rating it at 10/10 This one overall isn't as original or experimental and doesn't really reach those heights, so far I give it 8/10 but I can tell it's a grower and as an album in it's own right it's still blowing me away with each playing.. Lewis II is definitely worth checking out and is sure to be the hippest release of the year. If you want some genuinely good songs that are a step up from David Gray (a huge one in fact) I recommend this whole heartedly; but first timers to Lewis Taylor would do well to check out the first album after they've got into this one!
Over and Out
Jonathan
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a long awaited return to superb form, 21 Sept. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Lewis II (Audio CD)
I was handed a demo of Lewis' first album in 1996. I went to the mean Fiddler to see him play live. Since then that album has been in my car, home & office, played every day. It has been the theme tune to much of my life. Now Lewis has released Lewis II. From start to finish he has kept the raw soul elements alongside up tempo beats and a touch of the slower heart felt tunes that only he can do so well. My review? Excellent, if you liked Lucky you'll be glad that Lewis II follows in the same vein. If you're new to his music, enjoy, this man from Barnet is the master!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Track listing, 22 Jan. 2008
This review is from: Lewis II (Audio CD)
1. Party
2. My Aching Heart
3. You Make Me Wanna
4. The Way You Done Me
5. Satisfied
6. Never Be My Woman
7. I'm On The Floor
8. Lewis II
9. Into You
10. Blue Eyes
11. Everybody Here Wants You
12. Electric Ladyland
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Lewis II by Lewis Taylor (Audio CD - 2003)
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