Time Stands Still is Taylor Locke’s solo effort, and what a little marvel it is! With its irresistible blend of Americana, classic rock and catchy pop, the ten songs offer a work that is as confident as it is refreshing and inspired.

Up until now, the LA-based singer/songwriter is perhaps best know as the ex frontman of his band Rooney, followed by Taylor Locke & The Roughs. But now Locke has decided to take the path of the lone cowboy, and if ‘Time Stands Still’ is anything to go by, that path should lead into the right direction.

Opener ‘Burbank Woman’ is a gentle and harmonious ballad about an encounter with the lady of the song’s title, and clever lyrics “Deeper in her heart there was a valley and no freeway to get there / never mind my persistence / she was gonna keep me at a distance.” A gently plucked guitar and a voice filled with both longing and acceptance make this a beautiful love song.
‘The Game’ steps into the tracks of smooth west coast rock, while ‘Running Away From Love’ is much more pop-orientated. It’s a carefree and radio-friendly feel that evokes the spirit if freedom and having fun in the sun. There is a slight Tom Petty vibe to be noticed in ‘Don’t Be A Stranger’ and that can’t be a bad thing. Catchy riffs and an overall laid-back feel (aside from a heavier guitar solo mid-way) turn this into another winner.

‘So Long’ is one of the best tracks on the album. An irresistible and penetrating melody that reminds a little of The Cars and a chorus that will stay in the collective mind should make this an audience favourite. Quite in contrast stands title track ‘Time Stands Still’. This ballad-style song is a very personal reflection of the artist on his journey through life, emphasised through Ben Shaker’s Glockenspiel.

‘Call Me Kuchu’ shakes you out of reflection mode courtesy of a dynamic rock sound and its addictive chorus. The instruments here work together particularly well – we’re talking guitars, drums, organ, electric piano and bass. It’s a right little scorcher and shows that Locke can easily slide from soft to rough-edged.

One of the most beautiful tracks on the album is ‘The Art Of Moving On’ – a rather self-explanatory title about a failed relationship. The song is full of advise from the artist on best how to deal with it, without falling into the cliché of schmaltzing things up. The next track ‘Going Going Gone’ is another reflection on all things that turn life upside down, though here the chosen musical arrangement is distinct easy-going west coast rock.
Closing track ‘No Dice’ is harmony pure, and an exercise in effective word-smithery. When Locke sings, “There’s demons inside me I’m trying to chase / you told me that I’d pay the price / no dice” it is personal but at the same time neutral enough for the listener to weave their own interpretations into the song.

Something tells me that following the release of his debut album time won’t stand still for Taylor Locke but that things will in fact move very fast indeed – steering towards a tour and another solo album!