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Taylor Locke - Time Stands Still (Review)

Taylor Locke, Time Stands Still

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

EX-Rooney guitarist and vocalist Taylor Locke has delivered an ambitious debut solo album with Time Stands Still that, like its name suggests, seems to be looking backwards for much of its inspiration.

The result strives hard not to follow standard singer-songwriter fare and has a fuller bodied sound that’s more evocative of classic acts like McCartney, The Eagles, Crowded House or even Tom Petty.

Hence, the lyrics and the emotions contained within them are placed to the fore and there are more slower building songs than perhaps you might have been expecting from the Rooney stalwart.

Opening track Burbank Woman is shot through with a keen sense of longing and disappointment but has a gentle set of hooks and intricately wound riffs that make for quite a disarming listen (despite a chorus that lamentfully proclaims “she was going to keep me at a distance”).

If follow-up track The Game is a similarly lovelorn affair that doesn’t mark too much of a difference in terms of composition, there’s a distinctly ’70s pop-rock vibe attached to Running Away From Love that feels like something Free might have written way back when (complete with falsetto vocals). The pick up in pace is also welcome.

Likewise, Don’t Be A Stranger benefits from a more gritty guitar approach and some of the catchiest melodies on the LP. You could well imagine this one finding a place on a Fountains of Wayne record.

For Locke, however, the ’70s would seem to be the most fertile hunting ground in terms of his inspirations. So Long has another classic pop-rock vibe, while the haze-rock of Call Me Kuchu drops hammond organs and anguished vocals with aplomb and is another firm favourite. If anything, the album perhaps screams out for a couple more harder rockers such as this one.

But that’s not to say Locke doesn’t do ballads well either. Both Time Stands Still, with its achingly simple acoustics and heart-on-sleeve lyrics, and The Art of Moving On, with its quiet yearning and intricately woven hooks, display a heartfelt intimacy and gentle beauty that enliven the album.

And it’s the highlights of the album that help to ensure Time Stands Still rates as such an enjoyable listen.

Download picks: Don’t Be A Stranger, Time Stands Still, Call Me Kuchu, The Art of Moving On

Track listing:

  1. Burbank Woman
  2. The Game
  3. Running Away From Love
  4. Don’t Be A Stranger
  5. So Long
  6. Time Stands Still
  7. Call Me Kuchu
  8. The Art of Moving On
  9. Going, Going, Gone
  10. No Dice