Sean Taylor “The Beat Goes On”

Independent, 2022

Gorgeous collection of lushly produced gems from lockdown inspired Taylor.

Artwork for Sean Taylor album The Beat Goes OnLockdown has affected musicians in many ways, inspiring and frustrating them in equal measures. British troubadour Taylor has recorded his tenth album in the midst of lockdown, with the help of an assortment of top notch musicians, to produce a lovely set of moody and polished songs. Following hot on the heels of last year’s politically focused release ‘Lockdown’, this new album was recorded in London and remotely in Austin with producer Mark Hallman, who imbues the songs with his masterful bass, organ, drums and pedal steel contributions.

The opening track is the gloriously lush, laid back piano groove of ‘It’s Always Love’ – perfectly setting the atmospheric mood of the album.  It’s got a John Martyn feel about the importance of having a soulmate in times of trouble and is simply wonderful. Track four is the slightly more upbeat shuffle, ‘Better Times,’ another song celebrating the power of music in lockdown, a theme featured in a number of the songs here. It’s another song that draws you in and envelops the listener – lovely stuff.

Another highlight is ‘Back On The Road’, a sublime, hushed, bluesy shuffle, that perfectly suits Taylor’s vocal styling. Elsewhere on the album there’s many examples of the piano work that Taylor started on during the pandemic, including the classical interlude ‘Nocturne’ and the final track, the jazzy, experimental ‘The Heart Of The Ocean’: the latter has incredibly had a fifteen year gestation period going through many versions. The only non self penned track is ‘Be My Love In The Rain’, based on a Robert Frost poem – A Line-Storm Song – which isn’t quite as effective as the other songs on the album. Augmenting the duo is cellist Brian Standefer adding some lovely touches to the already high quality of musicianship on display.

As we start 2022, here’s an album that oozes quality and laid back gorgeousness – a perfect antidote to the current travails and a simply, if ever there can be, a huggable release.

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