Taylor Locke released his first solo album in March 2015 after the demise of his bands Rooney (4 albums on Geffen Records), and Taylor Locke & The Roughs. Now don't expect the typical singer-songwriter album from Locke who is stubbornly following his very own path packed with intimate melodic tracks as well as rocking tunes which have a sincere band feeling. The outcome is as diverse as it is entertaining.
"Running away from Love" is one of those rock infested tunes that breathe a band vibe. It's swinging up the joint without lacking the typical feeling singer songwriters manage to add. This is a free spirit approach found on album by such greats as Mr. Bob Dylan or Paul McCartney. It's that overwhelming atmosphere created when focusing on a song only a songwriter himself manages; "Don't be a Stranger" is another one of those tracks breathing energy.
Locke guarded the overall sound bringing in a full band to evoke his musical dreams and intentions. It adds up perfectly to Locke's voice providing an organic tension within the songs. A sonic rendition without lacking the acoustic outings, the genre is mainly known for. "Time Stands Still", the title track, has that mesmerizing campfire surrounding. It's timid and intimate perfectly highlighting the vulnerable lyrics of Taylor. The song has a nice vocal edge brought to the plate by the sweet backing vocals, going close harmony with Locke on the chorus lines and bridge. "The Art of Moving on" rimples the still water as it is a poetic chant of an ended relationship. The guitar pulls the song forward in silence much as the intension of the lyrics is. A slide guitar breaks the quiet mood set and makes the song bloom as a ray of sunlight on a dark day.
"Call me Kuchu" hints the Beatles with a sonic (late) 60's action packed sound; gloomy and taunting Hammond pumping up the tenacity whilst the guitar is steered from the mixing desk in a clear vibrant way slightly distorted by the effects. The choirs are powerful and add up to the dense psychedelic atmosphere, giving it the extra kick making this a stand out song. It that typical Lennon/McCartney vibe also present in the trimmed down "Burbank Woman" and the catchy "Going, Going, Gone". The vocal lines and choir interaction are breathing the grandeur of the Fab Four. "No Dice" is another one of those excellent warm and fuzzy melodic outings. The song instantly nests in your head due to its humming underscore and catchy hook.
"Time Stands Still" features everything to comfort fans of well-crafted melodic songs on a cold winter day. It is the soundtrack for a campfire without lacking the punch to get your feet off the floor occasionally. Locke's voice is appealing and perfectly adding up to his lyrical storylines. Locke shifts shape and surprises with this wide varied album consisting of irresistible melodies and mellow arrangements on gorgeous songs. It's also the last album which features contributions of Locke's late friend, the iconic Kim Fowley.
86 / 100
Review by Edwin van Hoof March 2015.