"These songs are little windows into the last four years of my life," says Ben Taylor of the eleven tacks that make up Listening (August 14), his first studio project since '08's The Legend of Kung Folk (Part 1). The distinctive vocals, so reminiscent of his father James, remain intact as does Taylor's wonderful way with an exquisitely turned out folk melody as demonstrated on Listening's opening title track (video below) and closing coda "Next Time Around." But it's everything in between that gets really interesting. The walking funk bass lines of "Oh Brother", the spacious and shimmering blues/jazz of "Vespa's Song" and slinky reggae beats of "You Could Be Mine" present one twist after another and make Listening Taylor's best and most visionary album yet. The exquisite "Burning Bridges" serves as the album's centerpiece for us, a song that deftly melds a killer melody, jangling guitar riffs, hook-heavy chorus and an ever-shifting rhythmic core (check the Taylor's inspired vocal phrasing) into a seamless pop/soul wonder.
Ben Taylor - "Burning Bridges" (from Listening)
Ben Taylor - "Oh Brother" (from Listening)