Record Review by Amber Henson
If American Idol has taught us anything (and I’m not sure it has), it’s that pretty women with pretty voices are a dime a dozen. To make it big, there has to be something there that pops. And it’s beneficial if they can write their own songs. Maria Taylor is an artist that, for the most part, pops. Her voice is strong while being smooth. Her album, LadyLuck, has a nice mixture of pop songs and singer/songwriter tracks. And it’s been well produced.
Or maybe a little over-produced. There are times when it feels like the strings, woodwinds and mellotron take away from Taylor’s voice instead of adding to it. Almost every track on the album comes at the listener with a wall of sound, but not in the good Phil Spector way. Taylor is occasionally able to channel Jewel, with her strong ability to keep tones pure in seemingly every register. But she never really lets us hear it. There’s one track, “Broad Daylight,” that has probably the least amount of input from instruments besides a classical guitar, but that’s about all the listener gets.
But what Taylor loses on over-production she makes up for with strong, smart lyrics and catchy rhythms. In “My Favorite . . . Love” she sings, “And solitude’s sounds are making my eyes weep, tossing and turning, I can’t make my mind sleep.” This is a beautiful sentiment that anyone who’s experienced heartbreak can relate to. Two of the tracks from the album are the kind that get stuck in your head, but you won’t mind. “Time Lapse Lifeline” is a single that has been getting some radio airplay, and is wistful and powerful all at once. The last track, “Cartoons and Forever Plans” is more fun, a sing-along song, with simple, pleasing rhythms. LadyLuck may not show off Taylor’s talents to the fullest extent, but she has enough to overcome that bad luck.
Maria Taylor - Live - April 20, 2006
More by this writer:
Metric - Fantasies
Thao / Sister Suvi - Live - April 29, 2009
Mates of State - Live - April 23, 2009
Gossip Girl - OMFGG [soundtrack]