Sounds like … an organic rock album mixing the ambient pop arrangements of Keane, The Fray, and Snow Patrol with the songwriting of Tim Hughes, Matt Redman, and Delirious.
At a glance … the Periday Records debut from singer-songwriter Travis Taylor is an amazing combination of pristine production, well conceived arrangements, and heartfelt tunes that transcend the stereotypes of Christian worship music.
"I am a worship leader at heart, but I also write songs about my wife; songs about my kids; songs that are just about everyday life," says Travis Taylor of his latest album, You Have Loved. The debut release from Periday Records, an indie label started by Taylor, is a collection of both secular and sacred tunes from the California-based songwriter. The new album not only breaks free from some of the restrictions of the Christian worship market, but also sounds pretty good doing it.
The disc starts out with the beautiful "Meet You," then kicks into the faster paced "No One Who Compares." While both tunes are musically similar (they could have been B-Sides on Keane's first album), one is about God and the other is about a child. As Taylor points out, "I think good music is good music and I don't think people will be confused by hearing a love song next to a worship song on an album, as long as both are great songs."
Sonically, it doesn't get much better than You Have Loved. With the help of guitarist/producer Dwayne Larring (Tim Hughes, Matt Redman) Taylor has crafted a collection of songs that could go toe-to-toe with any major label album. But it isn't just the quality of the production that makes this a great disc, it's also the arrangements. At any given time, the instruments are playing exactly what they need to play, creating musically intricate songs that are also easy to listen to.
The songwriting isn't too shabby either. Taylor's melodies, though not always hooky, stay with you in a subtle sort of way. The lyrics are usually reflective and conversational, whether with family or with God: "I've got a picture in my head of how you glow when you smile, it's the image that my heart projects every time I stop and just reflect on the life I have with you."
In addition to the ten main tracks, there are also four bonus tracks tagged on the end. With the exception of "Come Again," none of the extras bring much to the table, and with how strong "You Have Loved Me" is as a closing track, the album may have been better off without them. Still, this is a great album by a budding songwriter who isn't afraid to bend the rules in order to make good music.
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