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THE FILL EP (2003)
The Fill - Click to view! When I first heard about Taylor, I automatically assumed he was going to rock. For crying out loud, the guy's name is the same as a well-known guitar company: you know he's got to have major skill pulsing through his veins. Therefore, when a copy of his The Fill EP trickled into my hands, I immediately jammed it into my CD player hoping for the best. And the best I received. You have to understand, it's very rare when I can talk big about something and then actually prove myself correct (I get shot down every time I claim to be the world's best Halo player), so while I resist the temptation to write out a list of "I told you so's" to everyone who doubted me, allow me to explain why Taylor does indeed rock.

First of all, Taylor's on Rocketown Records, the only Christian label who seems to have things all together recently. Instead of mass-producing carbon copies of mainstream artists, Rocketown seems committed to tracking down artists with pure talent. Taylor is no exception. Like Joy Electric (in a non-electric way), his alternative roots are simply stylish -- they cannot be emulated by anyone else in the industry. Rather than pulling off flashy chords and solos, he prefers to keep it simple on the guitar, instead letting his effortless vocals steal the show. The bluesy grit he provides on "Follow Me," for example, throws around plenty of catchy hooks and unmatched tone variation that begs for repeating. If that isn't enough to drag you in, then the combination of brass and modern rock riffs will. Impressively, "Follow Me" only scrapes the surface of Taylor's finesse; "Love Somebody Else" reveals to us his true colors. Mark my words: Taylor IS the next Bono. His voice resounds triumphantly throughout the track, taking highs and lows with ease, mimicking a younger version of U2's frontman. The comparisons don't stop there, however, as "Love Somebody Else" nearly echoes U2's signature instrumentation, and if not for the presence of horns, you'd swear you were listening to "Beautiful Day." This effect bleeds over into "Red Fone" with somewhat of a slowdown, but Taylor makes up for it with superb lyrical depth: "You've dwelt upon mistakes / while there's a door marked 'Truth' / Keep counting the blessing lights / That's what's gonna get you through." Together, "Red Fone" and "Love Somebody Else" weave a crucial reminder that no one is beneath God's love and mercy. Live recordings of "Sanctuary" (a Bruce Springsteen inspired rock cut) and a heavier version of "Love Somebody Else" compliment the aforementioned songs, rounding out the disc to a much-too-short five tracks.

If The Fill EP is a taste of good things to come, we're brimming with excitement over what Taylor's full-length album, The Overflow, is going to sound like when it hits retailers in February 2004. Until then, just accept the hype and believe that Taylor means talent. Not only will you get your prescribed dose of alternative rock, but you'll also hear a message about God's love that you can commit to memory for the rough paths you'll walk on. So go purchase this disk and listen to it day and night until you pass out. You know I'm right.
- Rick Foux
October 2003
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