Most helpful positive review
44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
A Well-Crafted Album, Lots of Variety
on March 10, 2009
Taylor Hicks, free of any restraints that may have been placed by Idol-related producers, delivers an excellent mainstream pop album that should please his fans - and earn new ones.
Taylor put obvious care into his vocals, which are strong throughout without over-singing (as he has sometimes been criticized for). My favorites are "Maybe You Should" - a mournful ballad about the end of a once-loving relationship, and "Seven Mile Breakdown" - a southern-rock track with a driving beat. A cover of Nick Lowe's "I Live In a Battlefield" is another highlight. Elliot Yamin (who finished 3rd on Idol the season Taylor won) joins him for a duet on the closing track, "Woman's Got To Have It." These two guys are both soulful, bluesy singers. The combination of Elliot's smoother delivery contrasts very well with Taylor's huskier tone.
I was surprised at how many genres Taylor ventured out into throughout the CD. "Nineteen" is a country song about a Marine who loses his life in the war. "Once Upon a Lover" is a latin-style track with Taylor singing at the high end of his range. The title song is a mid-tempo rock song about trying to move past political differences and work together.
Simon Climie produced the album - he previously produced for Eric Clapton. Taylor shares writing credits on 7 of the 11 tracks. In-demand session drummer Abe Laborial Jr. (Paul McCartney's drummer for the past several years) provides the strong foundation. Unfortunately Taylor's harmonica only makes one cameo appearance (on the album's weakest song "Keeping It Real") - I was hoping for a few solos, but it doesn't diminish the album's overall appeal.