Whatzup
Subject to the Wind
Matt Taylor

by Jason Hoffman Subject to the Wind
It’s impossible to listen to the music of Matt Taylor and remain a crusty curmudgeon. It’s 100% true, as evidenced by the results of my scientific experiments. I’ve yet to discover the exact reason for these findings. Perhaps it’s the upbeat melodies or the skillful songwriting, although I personally think it’s because Taylor loves to perform and his infectious attitude shines through on every song of Subject to the Wind, his third album.

Take, for instance, the opening track, “Somedays.” Blissful vocal scat mimicking a horn quartet starts the song, bringing an instant smile to your face. Then bright, clean guitar and drums enter this bittersweet tale of a woman longing to find love, add in a symphonic bridge near the end, and even Oscar the Grouch would have a difficult time not singing along. “Whatcha Getting In2” is another sweet up-tempo foot-tapper filled with light acoustic guitar flourishes and loads of vocal harmonies. Not one to hog the spot light, Taylor and Jen Fisher duet in the desperate “The Way I Am,” a song of two lovers sorrowfully seeing the obvious signs of the end. Both “On My Way” and the title track exhibit a broad sense of adventure, with the former sporting a 70s America feel with horns pumping up the syncopated light rock song and “Subject to the Wind” spinning zesty organs around an inspiring song which bears the same sense of accomplishment as climbing a mountain accompanied by crisp untainted air and clean sunshine.

Brian Lemert adds a throbbing U2-like guitar complement on “Follow Me Down” and rolling drums to the Celtic twilight of “Perpetual Motion,” a sweet love song if ever there was one. Lemert even adds (gasp) a very melodic accordion solo to flesh out this inspiring track. With his love of vocal harmonies, it’s not surprising that a number of cuts could stand on their own with just the vocals as the sparse guitar often seems icing on an already very tasty cake. Both the tranquil “Shade” and the jazzy, unnamed eleventh track take cues from African a cappella traditions to excellent effect, the later combining these influences with a tuba holding down the low end and a clarinet solo, making a modern “Cheers” theme song in the process.

For this outing Matt Taylor chose to record at home, which is appropriate, as he played nearly every instrument and sung every note. The result shows him to be as adept in the studio as he is at songwriting, with clever craftsmanship clearly brimming through his acoustic pop creations. To subject yourself to examples of one of the area’s best singer/songwriters and to find out how to add Subject to the Wind to your collection, double-click to www.matttaylor.biz . Warning: Listening will get rid of your grouchies.

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