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But it was only a matter of time before Taylor (and her musical partner Orenda Fink too) tried her hand at some solo work. That's where her solo debut, the ambiguously named "11:11," comes into play: A warm, melancholy slice of ethereal pop music.
It opens with the ethereal "Leap Year," where slightly disjointed poetic lyrics mingle with smooth strings, piano, and Taylor's throaty, soft voice. "Save my money/For that plane ride/Horn of plenty/Heavy sunlight/Autumn's bounty/Bread and red wine/In a hurry/But there's so much time/I will wait for you..." It sets the mood for most of the songs to come, and it's by no means disappointing.
From there on, Taylor tries her hand at all kinds of pop music, which is never an easy thing to do, especially since most solo artists try to distance themselves from their band work. Some of the songs are mellow folk ballads, and that sound continues through to the middle of "11:11." Then we strike: "One For the Shareholder," a slow-burning dance number with fizzy little synth over a shimmying downbeat.
It's not a bad song; in fact, it almost straddles the divide between her melancholy pop and dancepop. But it comes up a little short. That song sticks out like a bit of a sore thumb, because then Taylor switches gears, back to the mellow folk-pop sound of before. It carries over into the delicate closer "Hitched."
Normally experimentation like that is the kiss of death for an artist.Read more ›
This album is destined to please fans of good songwriting and delicate singing, a simple album telling stories that many can relate to.
This is one of the best albums I have heard in a long time. If you are a fan of Conor's ("Bright Eyes") you will love this album too! My favorite songs are probably "Leap Year", "Nature Song", "Lighthouse", "Xanax", and "Speak Easy".
If you are considering buying this album, stop considering and just buy it. you won't regret it, this album is top quality. maria taylor's lulling vocals and genuine lyrics are an angelic blessing. my real question is..what is 11/11 mean?
The sparta dude was having a lot of fun in at the drive-in.
The mars volta dudes wanted to push things forward.
Then Sparta is a little bit of popular, but MarsVolta is the one that gets all the respect. Because, bascially, Sparta is just At The Drive-in without the 'fros and the creative spark.
That's kind of how this thing was...but:
Azure Ray's hiatus is totally amicable.
Maria Taylor is just...so...like-able.
And the direction she takes is just so...touching.
In an interview, she says something along the lines of "...my entire life has always been based on me and somebody else..." and here she is, on this CD, same woman, same life...but alone. And it's about how she's both inspired and scared by this. And she should be. It's a big step, especially for the quintessential embodiment of her former bands sound-- a breathy vulnerable sounding voice, accompanied by spare instrumentation that provides little cover for deeply personal and confessional lyrics.
It's mean to compare Orenda and Maria competitively, but it's hard not to do. Throughout Azure Ray's career, one could listen closely and pick out their subtle differences and respective talents. Orenda's domain was her command over more complex lyric structures and a flair for darker,more innovative instrumentation. And Maria always wrote the more conventional and simpler songs, but with an undeniable, but undefinable allure that stemmed from, but transcended mere catchiness.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a beautiful release from Maria Taylor... I think it is her first since taking break from Azure Ray. Read morePublished on January 22, 2011 by J. W.
This is one of the finest albums I have listened in last years. It is calm and addictive (except for the track 6 which is completely commercial. Read morePublished on November 14, 2007 by A. UNVER
I see Azure Ray pop up anytime I look for Maria Taylor. I haven't had the chance nor the inclination to check them out yet. I'm too enthralled with Ms. Taylor's work. Read morePublished on April 20, 2007 by Alexis
Maria Taylor, one half of the duo 'Azure Ray', has produced a welcome and charming creation in 11:11. Read morePublished on April 11, 2006 by Frank Gualtier
...it's just as good as azure ray.
she writes songs with fantastic lyrics and beautiful melodies that pull emotions out of me that i forgot i had. Read more
i was never a fan of azure ray or now its overhead-ive always found them to be too dry and soft for my liking. Read morePublished on September 16, 2005 by Ryan Mcnally
I love Azure Ray and I consider them to be one of my favorite bands. Maria Taylor being half of Azure Ray, naturally I would check this album out. Read morePublished on August 23, 2005 by J. Wood
Maria Taylor is best known as half of the duet Azure Ray, and has lent her sleepy, sweet vocal talents to bands and artists as acclaimed as Bright Eyes and Moby. Read morePublished on August 19, 2005 by EA Solinas
After being a fan of Azure Ray for two years, I almost jumped out of my seat when I found out Maria's solo album was coming out in May. Read morePublished on June 5, 2005 by F. Bi