7.5

Otis Taylor: Pentatonic Wars and Love Songs

Music  |  Reviews
Text
Otis Taylor: <em>Pentatonic Wars and Love Songs </em>

Modern bluesman sidesteps nostalgia


Otis Taylor’s challenge as a bluesman in 2009 is avoiding the treacherous pitfalls of archaism, a feat he usually performs gracefully. His answer on Pentatonic Wars and Love Songs is the same it’s always been: layers. On this new album, the master craftsman melds syncopated rhythms and haunting minor-key sax scales on “Talking About it Blues,” and blends his signature “trance” style—rapid fingerpicking overlaid by simple vocals—with shouts, groans and yells on “Walk on Water.” Sure, there are a few moments of eye-roll inducing sap (the piano solos, dripping with emotive syrup at either end of “I’m not mysterious”) but, overall, this collection of love songs keeps the touchy-feely at arm’s length and sparkles with emotional honesty.


Listen to Otis Taylor on MySpace.

Sign up for the Paste newsletter Get our daily summary of the day's top articles and new items. Sign Up Thank you! Your email address has been added to our list. You will begin receiving our newsletter within 48 hours.

Paste Magazine example 1 Paste Magazine example 2 Paste Magazine example 3