Lynn Teeter Flower
former half of Azure Ray, Taylor is becoming
recognized as the more reserved of the pair, the more musically
pure, the more emotionally naked. And while the debut (11:11)
was a strong beginning, this one takes her closer to where she's
headed, but doesn't quite get there, probably because she still
can't quite let go of her sepia-toned past. She certainly tries.
Opener "A Good Start" would be a hit in any other era;
the back-beat rocker that recalls Buckingham/Nicks would fit right
in between other AOR staples if it didn't sound so good. "Clean
Getaway," an acoustic weeper about escape, isolation and regret,
epitomizes the Azure Ray sound sans the harmonies. When there are
harmonies, it's Maria-on-Maria, the edges so close together that
you lose sight of the overlap that makes them necessary in the first
place. Stylistically, there are similarities to Aimee Mann (and
producer Jon Brion), Suzanne Vega, and McLachlan. It's Taylor's
melodies that set it apart, along with the experiments, some successful
(the rural-flavored "The Ballad of Sean Foley," co-written
by Conor Oberst and Dan McCarthy), some failed ("Irish Goodbye,"
with it's Team Rigge rap).
Posted April 6,
2007. Copyright © 2007 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.
the debut (11:11) was a strong beginning, this one takes her
closer to where she's headed, but doesn't quite get there, probably
because she still can't quite let go of her sepia-toned past."