Joanne Shaw Taylor: Almost Always Never Review

With two previous studio albums in the bag and years of steady live performing under her belt, many may have thought that Joanne Shaw Taylor had arrived. But then this past June, Taylor enjoyed the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of entertaining the crowd as part of the performance in front of Buckingham Palace at the Queen’s diamond jubilee celebration.

Taylor got her start in music at an early age, and by the time she was 16 was considered enough of a guitar prodigy by Dave Stewart of Eurythmics that he helped her gain notoriety. A career was born. And now, on the release of her newest album Almost Always Never, Taylor has truly found herself.

It’s not a particularly ferocious or arresting album, and Taylor’s take on blues is mystifying. She manages to convey a polished, veiled audible darkness that exudes throughout the record. With expertly pedaled guitars laced with swirling organs and Taylor’s ever-present smooth but powerful voice, Almost Always Never takes hold and doesn’t let go.

There is a degree of professionalism here that is not easy to attain. Taylor expertly weaves her way through a rich tapestry of sound, and propels it forward, keeping the focus on a strong foundation of solid musicianship. The attention to detail is actually a little surprising, for the production values are very high on the recording, something I’m sure transcends to her live performances as well.

With her third album, Taylor achieves a level of substantial prowess that many artists more than twice her age have never experienced. Almost Always Never is an experience, and a powerful one at that. Don’t miss this album.

The Review: 9/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– Almost Always Never
– Army of One
– A Hand in Love

The Big Hit

– Almost Always Never

Review by Tyler Quiring

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