23 March 2021 (released)
The headline on this album is a quote from Toronto based Julian Taylor
“What a pleasure it is to find in the monoculture of the current musical moment a group of musicians talented enough to be various”
All through this album Taylor is supported by a huge range of very talented musicians capable of covering many different sides of soul, funk and rock. The diversity in the music is an absolute joy and like the best soul music it comes across as being completely unforced and natural.
It is a mammoth endeavour – 22 tracks lasting a total of nearly eighty minutes and I found that I was able to drop in and out, picking tracks almost at random and getting pleasure at whatever point I dropped in.
To show the sheer variety of the music on offer, the album opens with ‘Just A Little Bit’ a gentle and really danceable bit of funk with jazz leanings – almost Jamiroquai in style – Taylor’s voice high and strong and horns punctuating the groove. That goes into ‘Bobbi Champagne’, Bluesey and slow, whispering organ in the background alongside gorgeous backing vocals and leading to one of the best guitar solos on the album – one of the best numbers here . Next up is ‘Heard Good Things’ and now we are getting into rock territory – think Lenny Kravitz or Sly Stone – and the track kicks like a mule on unhappy pills.
Three tracks in and we are already getting a taste for the multi-musical capabilities of the Julian Taylor Band and it just continues from there, every track has a different feel or style but everything is combined by the superb vocals of Mr Taylor.
The whole album is a delight, one of the freshest and most positive I’ve heard throughout the Covid year and one I can see myself enjoying for years to come.