Twenty-two-year-old solo artist Taylor Sorensen is straight out of Nashville, Tennessee bringing a raw rock sound with his debut effort, The Fill EP. Going by simply just Taylor, Sorensen uses The Fill to give listeners a small taste of what's to come on his full-length March 2004, The Overflow. Unfortunately, The Fill is likely to leave the listener feeling a little bit empty.
"Follow Me" opens the short project, introducing the listener to the new Nashville talent with a familiar sound. From the beginning sounds of the track, the mix sounds surprisingly rough and underproduced. Taylor's vocals are remarkably similar to Tree63's John Ellis yet feel apathetic at times even as he belts out the lyrics "Won't you come and follow me." Perhaps "Follow Me" isn't the best vehicle for showcasing Taylor's talents. The music has a classic rock vibe but has a lackluster sensibility to it that just detracts from what otherwise could be a hit with justifiable longevity.
"Love Somebody Else" is a nod to U2 as Taylor seems to offer his best Bono impression with mixed results. The end product just sounds lifted directly from an unreleased Tree63 b-side project. The choral BGV's included in the chorus seem cut and pasted into the mix and don't blend too well with the song as a whole. "Red Fone" has a strong U2 feel and is certainly the best song on The Fill. Being a child of the eighties, it's not a surprise to hear such influences as U2's earliest (and best) work in Taylor's compositions. However, his unofficial tributes never come close to the excellence that those he emulated achieved. But he does a decent job trying. The background accompaniment on "Red Fone" blend much more successfully than on "Love Somebody Else." The two remaining tracks on The Fill are live renditions of Taylor originals. The first, "Sanctuary," is a surprising addition as the listener never gets to hear a studio version of the song and is instead introduced to the song through a raw live cut. Taylor shows a lot of energy in his performance but his vocals aren't able to withstand this energy as they give out several times throughout the song. The live rendition of "Love Somebody Else" is an upbeat closing moment but not a strong one.
Taylor's heart for God is clear despite lyrics that steer clear of being preachy in any way. His musical efforts on The Fill aren't misfires by any means, but feel shockingly amateurish and underproduced for something I'd expect from a Rocketown Records release. Because of this, The Fill leaves me disappointingly unimpressed as I wanted to share in Taylor's enthusiasm for his passion. I can only hope that The Fill is merely the spill left over from The Overflow due out next Spring...- Review date: 10/7/03, written by John DiBiase
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