Taylor Hicks was a presenter last night on the American Music Awards. He looked great and displayed his natural confidence in the public eye. Check out his official blogspot, Gray Charles to the megaupload of Taylor Hicks' appearance.
Bo Bice and Taylor Hicks may have something in common besides calling Alabama home and being on American Idol. Yesterday the debate began over the clips of the two Taylor Hicks songs from the upcoming CD getting 'first listen to' on Gray Charles. I checked back today and found that many of the Soul Patrol were of similar opinion as myself regarding the latest endeavors by The Soulman. This post in particular nailed exactly what I had been thinking but did not articulate:
(This is an excerpt from an interview with Taylor Hicks.)
"I ask Taylor, “were you expecting this”? He replies, “Look, I’ve got a 3 album deal – this is a process that every artist has to go through. There is give and take…..There may be more give than take on the first go round. My sophomore release will have more “original” music."
The poster, 'Eejit', continues with,
"I really wish he had stuck to this line in interviews. Not only would we have known what to expect, but it would also have served as a disclaimer not to judge him by the first album. Instead, he’s gone out of his way to raise people’s expectations: “It’s modern whomp music….It’s jazz, funk, cajun, soul, blues… It’s real, and it’s an extension of my career that’s 10 years in the making.” If he’d been saying “Hey, it’s Idol, man, it’s gotta be pop, but I’m gonna try to make a really good, kinda Taylorized pop album,” people would judge it by those standards and probably say he did a good job.
But if you’re gonna brag about defining a new genre of music, you’d better bring more to the table than overproduced pop songs. I’m really hoping we will get some of the promised “jazz, funk, cajun, soul, blues” somewhere on this album, because otherwise I’m afraid all this “whomp” hype may come back and bite him on the butt, especially when the critics get ahold of it."
I had to reread this post a couple of times. 'Eejit' sums up exactly my thoughts on the short clips featured. Granted the two clips are just that, but clips are intended to promote the 'flavor' of the entire song and give the listener insight into what is to come. The first two previewed song clips open with a definite carbonation fizzle. Today on Taylor Hicks' myspace, noonish, there is word that there is to be some sort of "surprise". I'm thinking possibly that we'll hear more of this CD, perhaps more soul and less Pop.
Don't get me wrong, and please stop yourself from branding me a hater or a naysayer, just a true-blue fan who will not play "The Emperor's New Clothes". I'm shooting straight. WILL I buy his CD? Most Definitely. I'm supporting a man whom I do believe to be an "honest to God" musician and artist. Taylor Hicks, in this Freshman venture may be simply finding himself in a similar situation that Bo Bice, with "The Real Thing" CD, encountered with the American Idol machine. The Biceman still is taking hits from the CD not being the type of tome that fans expected. It may come to pass that this new CD from The Soulman may see him taking some of the same shrapnel.
So much of the debate stems from the fact that Taylor Hicks fans, the Soul Patrollers know what the man has gravitated towards in his music. Sp'ers have eaten up Taylor Hicks' proposals of being dedicated to Soul music and real music.
Taylor Hicks is going to be held to high standards, but fans need to be aware the man is, no matter how strong a personality he is, under a contract and obligated to fulfill the details of 'said' contract. As with an artist, musical or otherwise, and as has been professed by Hicks on a famous hat he wore, and in this Rolling Stone interview, sometimes it is necessary to "dance with the devil".
Dance on Baby.
Groove on Soulman.