John Taylor

Feelings are good and other lies

"Feelings Are Good and Other Lies" is the title of John Taylor's first solo CD. This album is primarily available through mail order and some indie shops (Record Runner in NYC is the only one I know of). I like this album, surprisingly. It wasn't what I expected. I don't really know what I had going around in my head, but John Taylor is the founding father of Duran Duran and Power Station (remember them? Supergroup of 1985?). He also did a solo single thing called "I Do What I Do" (theme song for 9 1/2 Weeks soundtrack; it starred Mickey Rourke and Kim Bassinger), so I expected something along those lines.

However, what I got was a solid and unique album unlike all of the above; I'll explain.... It is a good freshman effort on the part of John Taylor. He went through an small independent record label called B5 Records instead of using his Capitol contract through Duran Duran. You have to admire the guts and perseverance. This CD is also cool in its style of distribution, JT didn't want to get invoibution, JT didn't want to get involved in anything that will change his music or perceive it to be different than what it is (i.e.: it's not Duran!). Hence, the Internet and mail order style. If I remember right, there will be no singles off the album, JT is going to let the College DJ's see what they like, what their campus likes and play it. No MTV, VH1 or big production for receiving mass media attention. Gotta admire that.

Onto the music....

JT, of course, has a few good friends to play on the album as well. Steve Jones (Sex Pistol fame; now a reunion is in the works) plays guitar on all tracks, so you know it has a punky groove thang to it with JT's alternative style. The lyrics are elemental and naked, the best words I can describe it as. The album is full of personal angst of what he sees, knows, understands, and feels. If you like this type of lyric writing, you'll really enjoy this album. It sounds along the lines of Nirvana or Green Day, I myself, took one song for the Foo Fighters. It is not a slickly produced album, but the musical content does rival a bigger outfit. The beats are absolutely excellent, even on songs I don't care for. The better songs are: Don't Talk Much, Losing You, Look Homeward Angel, Always Wrong, Trust The Process, and Feelings Are Good. A total of 12 are on the album; JT does have a special edition out, an extra track dedicated to his small daughter. After those are gone, a regular edition wile, a regular edition will only be available (can we say collector item!?)

Phone instruments are also used which add flair to the beat and style of the songs. JT's vocals aren't bad either. He never really sang before (exception being his 9 1/2 Weeks single), so this is really a freshman effort on his part. There are already music clips on the Internet and a number of home pages out there, I believe an official web site will be up soon for B5 Records.

I also attended a show in which 3 of JT's songs were presented. The crowd responded really positively and above all that-they enjoyed themselves immensely. It was at the Hard Rock Hotel in Vegas, how more relaxed can you get?? I also saw another show in NYC at Irving Plaza and Philly at Trocodero's. JT was part of a showcase group called the Neurotic Outsiders which had a semi-residency at the Viper Room during last Fall.

Michele Morabito
© 1996, Rational Alternative Digital