Taylor’s Universe - Artificial Joy
(Marvel of Beauty Records MOD CD 020)

From Aural Innovations April 2010 update

Taylor’s Universe is back with a new CD. It features a very similar line up to the last one, including Michael Denner guesting on two tracks (4 and 7). As with most of Taylor’s works, they are designed with specific themes in mind, with the different instruments all coming in and out to play their specific role in the tracks. Well planned and perfectly executed. Anyway, some of the tracks remind me of early 70’s Canterbury stuff. Work opens the CD with some piano before everything changes and a short little progressive keyboard break leads into a more mysterious section, which leads into the main clarinet and tenor sax playing. Great track. Artificial Joy takes me back to 1971 and the Canterbury scene. Great arrangement with fantastic sax and keyboards. Days Run like Horses is a bit darker with a lot of cool elements in the mix if you listen closely. This one slowly builds up but then when you think it is fading away to end around 4 minutes, it just spaces out for a bit before returning to the theme. Great. Atmosfear returns with a happier glow and features Michael Denner on lead guitar and he bursts in and out between the sax and clarinet bits. Laughter is a cool track that is almost dreamy at the end, with a spoken word part in the middle by Louise Nipper. Taylor plays some really nice organ on this track as well. Finn Olafsson plays a nice guitar solo at the end. Telephone features amazing sax playing and I really like the beginning with the telephone tone and who the keys melt into it. The CD ends with Fame and this one again features Denner on the lead guitar in several different short solos. The slow brooding track has many elements balancing both the mood and the playing. A fantastic CD and as it says in the booklet, “for maximum effect, Play it Loud!” and I totally agree…

Check out the Robin Taylor web site at: http://www.progressor.net/robin-taylor

Reviewed by Scott Heller

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