Alternative / Rock
Artist: Taylor Hollingsworth
Produced by: Brash Music
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
From out of the south appears a skinny kid with a punk attitude, brandishing a guitar. That kid just happens to be Taylor Hollingsworth, one of the many hopefuls to be produced by Brash Records. The mission statement of Brash Records is “To passionately deliver quality music to fans in a way that is profitable for all involved.” I’m not quite sure they hit the mark with this CD.
The moment I popped Tragic City into the player, I was overwhelmed by the noise. Whoever mixed this CD kept the music loud…so loud that the reverberation is mostly a hissing noise that overcomes the first track of the song. In that first track, Take the Money, Taylor Hollingsworth sounds like the lead singer of the band Everclear. Being a fan of Everclear, I decided that one noisy song didn’t make the whole CD bad. Every song afterward, Hollingsworth sounds like Everclear with a severe head cold.
The music on Tragic City is terrific. Hollingsworth really is the great guitarist that Brash Records says he is. The album is filled with amazing guitar riffs. The music is by far the best part of the CD. There’s even a track where the music is a throw-back to the music of the ‘70s. Too bad the lyrics are atrocious. The singing however, is off-key, leading me to believe that perhaps Taylor Hollingsworth is more suited for a role other than band frontman. Most people aren’t turned on by nasal intonations.
Lyrically, Tragic City is a mess. Many times, judging a CD by its cover is definitely the wrong thing to do. You might discover that the titles of the songs have nothing to do with the content. However, in this instance, the titles are just as silly as the songs they represent. The lyrics are often childish and sometimes trail off into silly noises as is the case in Gambling Bar-room Blues, which had some potential after a rough start, but trailed down into nonsense. Then, there’s Duct Taped Heart: “The duct tape that’s around my heart / I put it there to keep the blood from running out / I will need more / It still leaks a little”. Or how about Bonnie and Clyde: “We don’t even need a plan / Fuck those people with their laws / Take my hand I’ll show you how / Just pull the trigger now / We’ll watch us on the tube / From our hotel rooms / You and me – the next Bonnie and Clyde”.
There are a couple of decent tracks…if only we could hear what exactly Hollingsworth is saying (totally the fault of the people mixing this CD, making the music so loud we can’t hear the singer). I laughed at one particular line from the song Little Queenie: “Little Queenie, why won’t you believe me? / I was your lover in a past life”. Anyone in the dating scene will recognize that line. Lyrics from Heart Attack were catchy as well.
All in all, Tragic City would indeed be a tragic attempt were it not for the talent Taylor Hollingsworth has for the guitar. Brash Records totes Taylor Hollingsworth as an artist you won’t soon forget. Musically, they would be correct, but lyrically and vocally, you’ll really want to.