Taylor likes the MTV (and other tales)

The good news for Taylor Hicks is that the last few articles written about him (The New York Times, The New York Post–trying to make amends, I see, heh heh heh) have focused less on his status as the reigning Idol, his misinterpreted quotes to jam-band magazines, or his lack of a lovelife (or a dog, apparently–aww, that one did get me a little), and have focused more on his actual musicianship–which, gee golly gosh, might have actually had a hand in him winning the damn thing this year. A rundown:

All the cool kids want a Shiny TaylorBot for Christmas!To The New York Post, Taylor defended the slightly overpowering orchestration on some of his tracks, telling the interviewer that “it worked in the studio” and that the difference will balance out when he performs the songs live, but that it’s his voice that sustains the album.

To MTV.com, Taylor sang the praises of “The Runaround”‘s kickin’ drum beat, stating “it’s what, in my opinion, soul music should sound like.” Well, I am a sucker for that drum beat. Taylor also says he’s watched all the songs on the albums “grow like flowers” (Aww. And, barf.) Finally, Taylor also expresses his desire for a loyal fanbase and a “traveling circus of fans” that will follow him from city to city. (Uh, Taylor, maybe you missed the memo, but you’ve got that circus already, and it’s a lee-tle heavy on the freaks.)

And finally, Matt Serletic summed up his role as album producer for Mary Colurso over at Everything Alabama: “The final selection was really tricky. We were balancing who Taylor is – how he’s trying to branch out and stretch – with who he’s been in the past. Deciding that stuff was walking a fine line.” Did it work, or did Taylor fall off the tightrope and onto the Security Net of Bland Pop Music? I’d say it’s a mixed bag. Hicks stands full behind all of the tracks, and even offers a little commentary on each of them. Heh. “Dream Myself Awake” is a “modern soulful ballad?” Yeah, and “My Humps” is positively Dylanesque, Taylor. Oh well. Taylor also wants you to know that “all of these songs can be baby-making songs, depending on how and where you make love.” I, in turn, would like Taylor to know that by being a man who’s not afraid to use the term “make love,” he automatically is awesome.

Personally, I like getting Taylor’s opinion on what music should sound like, because it’s interesting to hear it from the perpsective of a slightly non-mainstream artist (or at least an artist who’s yet to have proven that he’s mainstream). And yet, nothing on Taylor’s two previous albums sounds remotely like “The Runaround” (maybe “My Friend” comes close…maybe). I miss acoustic Taylor, and I hope he comes back one day, but for now, I like listening to Taylor playing with his new toys. Sometimes the most beautiful music comes from the kid in the kitchen playing with the pots and pans, you know?

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5 Responses to “Taylor likes the MTV (and other tales)”


  1. 1 Bobo (aka: Billie) December 10, 2006 at 11:54 pm

    In a way (IMO) I think what we are witnessing or being a part of, is the growth and development of the artist that Taylor has always wanted to be. Hes going to playing around with all these new bells & whistles hes suddenly been given (imagine: a hungry,homeless person suddenly finding themselves with a varity of food in the cupboards and a two room apartment…hes not going to know which food to eat first nor which room to eat it in! LOL)….Taylor will eventually blend his old styles that he still feels most comfortable with, along with some of the new sounds hes making…..the result SHOULD be the finest of blends.

    And we may like it or we may not.

  2. 2 idolicious December 11, 2006 at 12:05 am

    Hey, I’m happy with the final product. So I don’t like every single thing–so what? I’m not a bot and Taylor can’t please all the people all the time. It sounds like he had a damn fine time making the album and I think that’s a wonderful thing. And I do enjoy “Taylor With Toys”–it’s new and interesting. I do hope he gets back to his roots one day, but that’s only one side of him, and I also hope that he continues to grow and mature as an artist–I’d love to see him put out a collaboration album one day (Taylor Hicks singing with Keb’Mo’, Marc Broussard, Delbert McClinton? I’d die.)

    Oh, and no particular need to use the “IMO” preface here. I’m not TWoP. :-)

  3. 3 Phantom December 11, 2006 at 2:41 am

    Man, this album is really growing on me. I didn’t expect this direction, yet the more I listen to the music the more I hear what I think Taylor hears. Silly me, “soul” to me meant Ray Charles, Howling Wolf. But Taylor’s apparently got a soft spot for the more 70’s brand of funk-n-soul. Surprisingly, I’m really digging the way he’s served it up. There are only 2 tracks on this CD that I turn off for regular rotation and I wouldn’t be surprised if even those grow on me. Someone (Taylor, Matt, both?) did a fine job picking out some catchy-ass songs. Addictive even.

  4. 4 SunnyLovesSoul December 11, 2006 at 7:27 am

    I love your analogy to Taylor playing with kitchen cookware to the sound of this first CD. Initially I was taken somewhat aback, but realized too, that from where he came from, what an amazing time he must have had creating this work. “Phantom”‘s right, “catchy-ass songs”, indeed. “The Runaround” just won’t stay out of my head. “The Maze” discounted by many has grown on me too.

    Groove on Soulman.

  5. 5 idolicious December 11, 2006 at 9:07 am

    “The Maze” isn’t bad. It’s grown on me. The one that’s REALLY getting to me is “Just To Feel That Way.” Initially I’d written it off as too poppy, but Taylor brings his special brand of soul to it by singing his ass off in a way that modern pop singers just…don’t do. Tomorrow should be a very cool day. :-)


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What the kids are sayin’



"I hate them all. The judges, TPTB, the blatant manipulation, the songs, the contestants, everything. I'm a die-hard Cook fan, but for the love of god, at least try to look like you're enjoying yourself up there! Please? Syesha was awesome but she ruined it by being completely shameless and disgusting. Yes, being on American Idol is exactly like the civil rights movement, except for the part where you're fighting to make the world a better place."



"All I can say after the disgusting display tonight of favoritism towards the mediocrity that is David A. - good luck trying to market and make money off of that kid, American Idol. (Not to mention good luck dealing with his father.) All the teeny boppers may buy up his American Idol coronation single, but they will quickly forget about him before the album comes out. And I shudder to think of a David A. album - song after song of unrelenting sameness and heavy breathing. Why they are pimping him for the win is beyond me."



"This show was simply a hot buttered mess tonight. And Jason "needs to be arrested for what he did to I Shot the Sheriff. But I hope he stays. He amuses me. "

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