Saddle Creek | Maria Taylor | Reviews


U&U Review :: Maria Taylor - Something About Knowing

Author: Tori Mier
02/24/2014 | Unsigned & Unleashed | | Album Review
Singer/songwriter Maria Taylor’s latest album, Something About Knowing, is nothing short of radiant. The eclectic mix of pop, folk and rock is perfectly suited to the album’s overarching theme: motherhood. Taylor reflects on this new experience with an impressive amount of serenity and peace, especially considering she reportedly worked on the album when her baby son was napping. Above all, the album is brimming with gentle emotion that Taylor carefully weaves into each song.

“Folk Song Melody” opens the album with a soft, lilting sound and the promised folk vibe. Taylor’s vocals are sweet, echoing nicely against the interaction between drum and guitar. It may perhaps be a little too saccharine for some listeners, but any individual familiar with the birth of a new child will likely find the track apt in its emotional descriptions. “Up All Night” follows with another recognizable theme to parents like Taylor. This track is spicier, beginning with a quicker beat as more instruments join in. It brims with a sweet-as-honey honesty as Taylor welcomes her baby into the world. “I pray the world is good to you” is a lyrical highlight, easily and deftly outlining the way every parent feels about their children.

The third track, “Tunnel Vision,” jumps to another idea, moving from the folksy-rock feel of the second track to a more pop, vaguely 60s, sound. The chorus offers little distinction from the repetitive verses, causing the song to fall a little flat. “Sum of Our Lives” follows, delving back into a soft rock sound. The song is mesmerizing with its layered guitar work and Taylor’s melodic vocals. She gleefully recognizes that her child is the “sum of our lives” and her legacy, above all else. “You’ve Got a Way with the Light” is a little country, a little folk, a particularly raw and beautiful track on Something About Knowing. She promises to keep all of her child’s paintings; she realizes the fire is getting low and turning to ash, but her baby brings all the light she needs. “Never look down at the holes in the ground / keep your eyes ahead,” Taylor sings &emdash; the listener can almost imagine the motherly smile with which the words are spoken.

The title track is a jazzier piece, picking up the tempo from the previous song. Taylor joyfully looks at all the love she’s accumulated in her life and realizes that there’s “something about knowing where the love comes from.” Again, an honest and pure happiness shines through on this track, making it another standout on Something About Knowing. There’s something to be said about listening to someone who has it all figured it out; not someone who has a perfect life, but someone who has made their life perfect through love. “This Is It” is a delightful folk piece, full of melody and witty lyrics. Taylor again demonstrates how becoming a mother has changed her life and how she now “feels so alive.” The following song opens with a reverberating, melancholy tone, coupled with Taylor’s memory of the times she saw “a lot of broken objects / in a lot of broken towns.” But this isn’t a sad tune about the darkness she’s encountered. It’s a reminder that every moment of sunshine shouldn’t be taken for granted. “Never let that ghost horizon lull you into dying,” she sings gently, another simple yet beautiful moment on Something About Knowing.

“A Saturday in June” somehow manages to sound like an actual Saturday in June, with hazy sunlight and barely-there breezes. Musically, this track represents the general instrumental themes of the album pretty well, full of gentle, lulling chords and Taylor’s soothing vocals. “A Lullaby for You” closes the album with a particularly genuine note. The most alluring part about this ong is that with its finger-plucked guitar and lovely lyrics, it legitimately sounds like a lullaby Taylor would sing to her child, and because of that, the listener is readily drawn into how much intimacy she is willing to share. “Dream-filled days / and nights combined / oh, it’s not enough / for you / love of mine” Taylor sings gently in the foreground of an emotional, guitar-driven ballad.

Something About Knowing is a spectacular accomplishment for Taylor, detailing the triumphs and joys of being a first-time parent. The nuances of folk, rock and pop are as gentle as a handmade quilt, reminding the listener both of the love their own parents had for them, and the love they are capable of giving to another little life.

STANDOUT TRACKS :: “You’ve Got a Way with the Light,” “Something About Knowing,” “Broken Objects,” “A Lullaby for You”