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Neil Taylor - 'No Self Control' http://ns2.rocktopiarecords.com/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/e6/32/17/1941_neiltaylornoselfcontrol_1328037051.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 31, 2012    
 
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The main attraction of the album is the general catchiness of the songs.

Neil Taylor has been in the music industry since the 80´s, playing guitar for a number of famous acts ranging from Tears For Fears through to Tina Turner. This side of the millennium, Neil has most notably been part of Robbie Williams´ touring and recording band. So after this lengthy period as part of a band or act, Neil has created his first solo album entitled "No Self Control". It would appear that at the outset of writing with songwriter Steve Torch, it was meant to be an instrumental album but the finished article is fully furnished with vocals. Looking at the photos in the CD booklet and the song lyrics, this is clearly an autobiographical album which explains the need for vocals. Some messages are clearer than others; some will mean something to only those close to Neil.

Moving onto the music, it is pop-rock with guitar and production quite laid back and sparse at times. Vocals are half spoken at times, with a lot of quirky backgrounds vocals. The main attraction of the album is the general catchiness of the songs; 'Don´t Drive My Car' (the opening track) and 'Everybody Seems To Know My Name' are excellent fodder to sing-along to. More edgy tracks such as 'Would You Love Me' and 'Dream Machine' grab attention, with the latter betraying Neil´s 80´s heritage with a Gary Numan feel (that being a compliment of course).

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The album does have some softer moments with ballads such as 'Walk Away' and 'I Never Said' which are excellently performed and produced. Having said that, the main thrust of the album is the proliferation of up-tempo tracks with guitar motifs and heavily backed up vocals in the chorus. There always seems to be something different though in each of the tracks in this genre; so for example 'Rewriting History' has a catchy synth part built into the chorus and pre-solo breakdown period whereas the title track has a phasered and almost punk style lead vocal.

Throughout the album, there is tasty guitar work which of course is what Neil is known for. Don´t expect over-the-top guitar wizardry in this album, however. What the album demonstrates is how to use the guitar to make a good song, i.e. the guitar being the means to the end rather than the end itself.

Rob McKenzie

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