Author: Chad Grischow
9/30/11 | Ign.com | www.music.ign.com | Record Review
The fifth solo album from Azure Ray's Maria Taylor is a fantastic look at relationships and the search for love. The well-balanced album pits light acoustic ballads like "Idle Mind" against more driven fare, like the bluesy snarl of guitar and stand up bass on "In A Bad Way", recalling the carefree happiness at the start of the relationship. Taylor's diverse approach leads to adorable strummy classic country tune "Bad Idea?" as she sweetly wonders, "What if I turn forty-nine / With no husband in mind? / Well I guess there's just a glitch in my design".The low rumble of flickering acoustic and grumbling bass lights the fuse for a slow burning open on the fantastic "Masterplan". The overdubbed harmony in Taylor's vocals fits the tension in the music beautifully, eventually unleashing the band for a twangy, full-bodied rock gem. The sneer and restless grind of the guitar on "Matador" is fantastic against the clanging chimes and chilled melodic hook. Taylor's longing vocals shine on country fried love song "Like It Does", but the violin and acoustic guitar blend of "This Could Last A Lifetime" is the ballad that will stick the longest, thanks to its impossibly sweet look at finding the right time for a relationship. Taylor's latest is a rich, deep listen whose unfortunate title should not be followed.