Saddle Creek | Maria Taylor | Reviews



Author: Katie Higgins
08/19/2005 | | | Album Review
Maria Taylor, of Georgia's Azure Ray, makes strides with her first solo effort. Pairing introspective lyrics with flowing orchestration and the occasional dance beat, Taylor's "11:11" showcases her rich voice and big heart.

"11:11" finds Taylor yearning for love. On "Leap Year", Taylor's breathy, staccato voice floating over waves of piano, as she sings about harrowing distance and time:("I will wait for you/Growing love but like water time will always slip through/") On "Two of Those Too", the albums most poignant song, Taylor sings with such sincerity about accepting the transience of love and time over simple guitar and piano. She advises: "so be thankful for everything", and one trusts that she, herself, is. "Speak Easy" is the album's out and out love song, accompanied by strumming guitar, gentle piano, and a soaring violin. Here Taylor's lyrical imagery is lovely: "and if you fall asleep/ when you rise/ I'll be there to kiss your eyes".

"Xanax" find Taylor pondering love and loss against a subtle storm of piano, guitar, and drums ("there's just a time when we must all let go"). "Birmingham 1982" is like flipping through her childhood photo albums, as she sings of growing up Southern: "and I still remember songs/piano sing a longs".

"One For the Shareholder" finds Taylor's beautiful lyrics and syrupy voice juxtaposed against a dance beat that wouldn't sound out of place at any modern club (although her lyrics are much more poetic then any current dance offerings).

Composition-wise, "11:11" is not as accomplished as most of Azure Ray's releases. But lyrically, Taylor has delved introspectively into writing and the results are beautiful, heartfelt songs that ring sincere. These poetic offerings, accompanied by her beautiful voice, are what make "11:11" a notable album and pave the way for Maria Taylor to take greater risks and reap great gains-in the future.


LP / CD / MP3