Music

New Americana: Chip Taylor — ‘A Song I Can Live With’

Chip Taylor — A Song I Can Live With

Label: Train Wreck Records

Chip Taylor’s latest release offers a collection of captivating songs delivered in an entrancing performance. Talk about trusting the material; there is a spareness to the album that makes these steel-spined-yet-emotional songs all the stronger. With the support of the most appropriate orchestrations imaginable carefully chosen for each song (including piano, guitar, organ, flute, harmonica, bass and even glockenspiel) Chip Taylor sings, converses, observes and opines. It is all a reminder of the potential power of human breath when put to extremely good use.

The intimate nature of these songs is almost embarrassing—in a good way. In “Until It Hurts,” Taylor states “Good morning from New York. It is January 11th, 2016. David Bowie died yesterday.” What follows is nothing less than a husky, gritty diary entry weaving words and chords about Eric Andersen, Lou Reed, art, and the wisdom that almost—but not quite— evaporates when the right songwriter is weaving chords and words about art, Eric Andersen and Lou Reed.

The stream-of-consciousness quality that propels this album gives it an intensity, an urgency, that can be alarming. That is something that should be of concern to every one of the other albums released lately, and of no concern to Chip Taylor. It is something to celebrate. May he keep living songs he can write and writing songs we can all live with.

To preview or purchase this album on iTunes, click here.

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