Disclaimer time: I've got a near-Nazi level distaste for poor grammar. I'm not talking about the occasional dangling participle here. No, what really fuels my grammarian grumpiness are the blatant examples of lazy structure and attempts at literary coolness via the misplaced pomposity (look it up) of ignoring the basic rules of composition (brownie points for spotting said offence in this review. Clue: if you haven't already found it, fuggetaboudit) . So it's no small compliment to say Kim Taylor's first cut on I Feel Like A Fading Light (which doubles as that track's title) is a winner---despite the line: "some days they don't come easy." Ditto the second track "People", and the double negative in: "People don't talk to me no more". Both are solid, entrancing, and catchy without resorting to that droning repetitiveness of too many singer-songwriters.
Taylor exudes the enviable talent of sounding fresh and young, yet mature and multi-layered all at the same time. Unfortunately those same qualities also make it difficult to draw comparisons to other artists. Difficult, but not impossible if you're willing to bend your usual direct one-to-one only comparison for the more complex, but more accurate bits from one, pieces from another comparison drawing practice. For example, for an inkling of Kim Taylor's make-up: take Martha Wainwright's grittiness, add a smidgen of Cheryl Crow's soulfulness, plus a handful (maybe two depending on the size of your hand) of Nellie Mackay's playfulness.
"My Dress Is Hung" conjures up images of rough hewn barnboard (coincidentally or not featured in her liner notes) and barn building bees, traditionally followed by a good ol'fashioned barn dance, complete with mouth organ (or harmonica, depending on your geography), and fiddle (or violin, again, depending on your zip code). But don't go screaming into the cornfields at the thought of a do-si-do, twirl-yer-pardner type of tune. This one is more in the genre of the slow and quiet (but not dull) song you hope the cute cowgirl or boy will ask you to dance to as an excuse to sneak in some equally ol'fashioned vertical canoodling.
"Baby I Need You" feels like a home-made quilt (not those bed-in-a-bag fakes filled with multi-syllable faux fillings, but the type hand-stitched by Granny and miraculously still smelling faintly of her favorite lavender hand-and-face soap, despite dozens of trips to the laundromat—the only washers to accommodate big loads) pulled right up under your chin on one of those wintry nights when you're kicking yourself for having paid the phone bill instead of the furnace oil bill and---- the only calls you're getting are from the oil company's pay-up-or-you'll-become-a-human-popsicle department.
That analogy could now actually ring true for Florida-born and raised Taylor who now calls chillier Cincinnati, Ohio home.
Taylor may well FEEL like a fading light, but if this CD gets its due, she'd better be up for a dramatic change: far from fading, that light should soon be enveloping her in brightness and well-deserved warmth.