Saturday, July 25, 2015

Sean Taylor - The Only Good Addiction is Love


2015 –Sean Taylor Songs
By Phillip Smith; July 25, 2015

The Only Good Addiction is Love, Sean Taylor’s seventh album, steers the focus away from the hustle and bustle of city living, as was the focus on his previous album, Chase the Night.  As Taylor explains, he is now exploring the challenging world of aesthetics, bringing out the truth in beauty and vice versa. Before the first song of this eleven track album is finished, I’m quickly reminded of just how truly remarkable this songwriter is. 

The title track takes its name from an inspiring quote from former Uruguayan President Jose ‘Pepe’ Mujica, who selflessly declined the use of the presidential palace and its staff, and chose instead to live on his modest farm, all while donating ninety percent of his salary to charity.  This captivating song with a little Leonard Cohen reference, not only opens the album, but pours a foundation fashioned from complimentary dualities.  The dark swampy blues of “Bad Light” is kicked off with the electric surge of slide guitar from Andre Moran, and masterfully accented by the deep eerie sounds of Brian Standefer on cello. I am also heavily drawn to “Lorca”, a Spanish flavored instrumental which Taylor plays beautifully on guitar. 

Double bass virtuoso Danny Thompson returns to work with Taylor on the two tracks, “Rothko”, and “Moma”.  The former, is homage to Abstract Expressionist Mark Rothko who also inspired the album’s cover art.  Taylor’s guitar paired with Thompson’s double bass creates a hypnotic rhythm for the poetic lyrics to ride along. 

If you ever wondered how W.B. Yeat’s “The White Birds” would sound if set to music, wonder no more.  This vibrant poem is sweetly complimented with Taylor’s music.   “Desolation Angels” captures the essence of Kerouac’s book bearing the same name, with Clapton-esque guitar licks and free-wheeling prose. This is music for the soul. 

The Only Good Addiction is Love is definitely in my list of favorite albums this year.  It doesn’t get much better than this.