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Lewis Taylor (Spectrum)

Lewis Taylor (Spectrum)

1 Jan 1996
4.6 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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1
6:35
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2
5:36
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3
4:31
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4
5:11
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5
4:56
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6
5:24
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7
How
How
3:59
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8
4:26
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9
6:00
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10
3:19
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 1 Jan. 1996
  • Release Date: 15 Dec. 2000
  • Label: UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)
  • Copyright: ℗© 1996 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 49:57
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001KRHUHS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 60,770 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Lewis Taylor's debut is one of the greatest debut albums of all time in my opinion but this new reissue is sadly another casualty of the loudness wars. This *remaster* compresses the dynamic range by making the music a louder. It isn't really remastering at all just brickwalling the album's dynamic range. This album needed no remastering at all. It was perfect from start to finish but the record companies feel they need something to bolster poor music sales these days.

Although this reissue collects all his incredible B-sides on a separate disc which is a superb idea unfortunately they have messed around with compression on these too which was complete unnecessary.
I measured the DRM and reported my findings on the Steve Hoffman forums - just Google it.

So needless to say I sold this version immediately and returned to my original superior CD.

What makes this release worse is the frankly lightweight liner notes which offer no real insight into the album or artist and that Lewis was not consulted at all He stated in a recent interview that he could have offered some unreleased tracks from that period too so it's a real shame as this release could have been so much better on all levels.

This album deserves that much.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Great Music , very underrated artist
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Format: 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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Format: MP3 Download
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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Format: 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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