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October 2020
Review

Alexis Taylor - Beautiful Thing

Irreverent perfectionism from an artist not afraid to be a little bit strange.
Alexis Taylor - Beautiful Thing
Published: 10:18 am, April 17, 2018
Irreverent perfectionism from an artist not afraid to be a little bit strange.

Label: Domino
Released: 20th April 2018
Rating: ★★★★

Now four albums in as a solo artist, Hot Chip frontman Alexis Taylor gets nice and snug with an album that’ll do the job to keep your ears nicely toasted.

Album opener ‘Dreaming Another Life’ is particularly dark and sinister, blending hints of Taylor’s electronic background with warped guitars that linger before synths bring a welcome cosiness that allows you to settle in for a long, luxurious album that’ll have those cockles heated in no time.

Conventions are ignored as Taylor takes an almost techno approach to instrumentation at times - with just his inimitable voice bringing the album into an identifiable reality. The title track is a perfect blend of tripped out sounds crossing over with a piano and bassline primed for an indie dance belter.

Joe Goddard-produced ‘Oh Baby’ has more pop sensibilities as it races onwards, Taylor’s voice rising in that familiar way with hints of that same funky goodness Vulfpeck produce. Tim Goldsworthy, co-founder of Mo Wax and DFA Recordings, is on general production duties and appears to really help bring the best out of Taylor for his most inspired solo release to date.

It’s impossible to ignore the urge to make Hot Chip comparisons, though this feeling comes almost purely from Taylor’s familiar voice as he comfortably brings something new to the table. If this is your first taste of his solo career, take the time to browse his previous releases - particularly 2016’s luscious ‘Piano’ - as there’s plenty more aural goodness where this came from.

Despite regularly journeying into the outer realms, ‘Beautiful Thing' glows throughout; inviting you in to prop your head up on your forearms and gaze lovingly at Taylor as if he is telling you the most engaging tales you’ve ever heard.

Irreverent perfectionism, from an artist not afraid to step out of line and be a little bit strange. Ciarán Steward

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