Lewis Taylor - The Lost Album
The genesis of this incredible record needs unpicking a bit. Lewis stopped promoting the first album after a year and went home to record a completely different record that was the most un-R&B album you could probably ever hear: "I pushed in such an extreme direction the other way with what eventually became The Lost Album. It was a knee-jerk reaction to a perceived ‘trapped in R&B’ feeling I was going through at the time. Some people around me were in favour of it and others weren’t. In the end I think I lost confidence in it and did Lewis II instead." We did at least get Lewis II, which is a remarkable album, and he kept Island happy...for a bit. Not long after, Lewis was dropped. And what was to become The Lost Album could've been...er...lost. Forever.
Thankfully, however, Lewis and longtime partner Sabina Smyth revisited those scrapped demo tracks in 2003. They decided to re-arrange, re-record and then self-release them. So it was that the brand new version of The Lost Album finally dropped in late 2004. It's sheer perfection, and we don't say that lightly. The Lost Album was a fully 50/50 collaboration between Lewis and Smyth. As well as production, Sabina did a lot more writing on it, from the melody to "Listen Here" to the chord sequence for "Let's Hope Nobody Finds Us." Thankfully, Sabina is credited this time around.
No, it's not straight up "soul music" in the vein of his previous work. Yet, in its perfectly formed suite of one dozen songs, The Lost Album is dripping in soul. It's so warm, so effervescent and so alive with possibilities. It features deep, fresh imprints on well-loved, accessible sounds. It's a proper 70s style double album. Just one listen and the musical influences on The Lost Album are fairly self-explanatory, as Lewis recently told us, but it's always nice to hear that, in case we were in any doubt, he was definitely channeling Love, Yes, Brian Wilson, CSN, Laura Nyro and, of course, Todd Rundgren. The influences don't end there: "I’m particularly fond of my bass playing on that album, there’s a lot of Chris Squire going on which is cool."
Release Date: 30th June 2023
Label: Be With Records
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