Review: Sean Taylor – The Only Good Addiction Is Love
Posted on: Tuesday, Jul 7, 2015
Sean Taylor – The Only Good Addiction Is Love
Here’s one of those albums that is pretty impossible to ‘pigeon hole’ – the beautiful new release from London-based troubadour Sean Taylor. The 11-track “The Only Good Addiction Is Love” is a beautiful recording from start to finish and certainly stirs many different emotions. The album was recorded in Congress House Studios in Austin, Texas, with producer Mark Hallman, and features legendary double bass player Danny Thompson on a couple of tracks.
The beguiling title cut opens the proceedings – the title being a quote from former President of Uruguay, Jose ‘Pepe’ Mujica who gave 90% of his salary to charity and shunned living in the presidential palace, in preference for a farm . . . . it’s a superb opening and put me in mind of Leonard Cohen, who gets a name-check. The tougher “Bad Light” takes the pace and mood up a little, with slide guitar form Andre Moran, and Taylor’s lovely warm voice.
The Spanish-flavours of “Rothko” are inspired by a homage to the expressionist painter Mark Rothko, and sees a first appearance for the trademark double bass of Danny Thompson; the following instrumental “Lorca” demonstrates Sean Taylor’s articulate guitar work, with producer Mark Hallman adding bass – it’s a ‘doff of the cap’ to Taylor’s favourite poet, Federico Garcia Lorca. He is also referred to in “Tienes Mi Alma En Tus Manos”, which reminded me a little of the late Nick Drake . . . possibly because of the gorgeous cello of Brian Standefer.
Elsewhere the solo “Flesh And Mind” features Sean Taylor on piano, guitar and an utterly haunting vocal – it’s another quite beautiful song; the bluesy “Moma” sees Danny Thompson’s second contribution, with Mark Hallman helping out on backing vocals. The guitar work on “Desolation Angels” – the title taken from a Jack Kerouac novel – is quite outstanding again; the folky “Les Rouges Et Les Noirs” is another gem, inspired by a painting by Paul Klee.
The closing number is a poem by W B Yeats, “The White Birds” and it ends this superb collection in glorious fashion, in an uptempo manner as Taylor and the musicians celebrate the white birds on the foam of the sea, with, like all the album, fantastic lyrics.
What a talent Sean Taylor is . . . combine the likes of Leonard Cohen, Nick Drake and John Martyn . . . with the voice of Nils Lofgren (to these ears) . . . and it all makes for a most intelligent and thoughtful album that I thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish. The record is both instrumentally and vocally strong, with every track most interesting.