Joanne Shaw Taylor: Wild Review

Joanne Shaw Taylor’s fifth studio album Wild is a solid, modern blues-tinged album that seems to change with repeated listening. Wild is not wild: it’s careful and sometimes cautious, though there are moments of abandon that sneak in. Wild wears in well, rewarding patient listeners more than those expecting an immediate hit.

Wild begins with “Dyin’ to Know,” a three-minute track that brings an initial quiet, galloping rhythm quickly to full volume. Taylor’s voice is instantly familiar: its deep tone accentuates the rocking rhythm, building the song up until it’s ready for a powerful release during the chorus. The tracks that immediately follow are typical modern blues rock features: they’re technically sound, they have rhythms one can bounce to, but there’s nothing remarkable that sets them apart from blues sets one might hear at festivals or on a blues rock radio station.

Wild’s most interesting tracks are those that take risks. Taylor’s voice on “Wild is the Wind” sounds raw and vulnerable, as if the song itself contains a hidden honesty. The album closes with another powerful number, George Gershwin’s jazz standard “Summertime.” It’s a song that artists as varied as Billie Holiday and Sublime have made their own, as Taylor does here. Her vocals are strong and supported by tinkling piano keys that deliver a haunting tone. The recording is reminiscent of Gershwin’s original standard – until Taylor’s guitar licks step in. This edge modernizes the track, making it unique and fun to listen to. There are moments like these in each of the album’s tracks that make Wild a worthwhile and rewarding listen: listeners just have to be patient and let these moments come to them.

The Review: 7.5/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– Dyin’ to Know
– Wild is the Wind
– Summertime

The Big Hit

– Summertime

Review by Meghan Roos

Buy the album: Amazon

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