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Home » Albums in Review

Julian Taylor Band planting seeds with “Tech Noir”

Submitted by on May 26, 2014 – 10:29 pmNo Comment

JTBThe new offering from Julian Taylor Band – Tech Noir – is a delightfully uplifting melange of tracks and styles.

The 12-track record was released on the last day of March, and it definitely surpasses the people’s expectations of JTB.

Julian Taylor is a man from Toronto that knows no bounds when it comes to work ethic, and this latest album is a shining example of what comes of the tenacity Taylor exudes through his music.

Shortly after Taylor released the first single from the album “Never Gonna Give You Up” (video below) anticipation for the upcoming album became rampant.

JTB is the product of many genres intertwined into an organically homogenous blend of soul, funk, R&B, jazz, big band, and then some. Not only does Tech Noir offer up 12 great tracks, of almost 12 different stylings, but it also features a baker’s dozen of musicians – including the four  members of the band.

Composed of the man himself, Julian Taylor on guitar and vocals, Steve Pelletier on Bass and backing vocals, David Engle on the keys and mixing boards, and last but not least Jeremy Elliot on the kit, JTB is a force to be reckoned with no matter what your musical preference may be.

The artists featured on the album up and above the core members provide the soothing saxes on tracks 1, 2, 5 and 11 – which adds a euphoric and jazzy ambiance to these already groovy tunes, and the rest provide anything from additional backing vocals to auxiliary percussion.JTBThis album serves as proof of the Torontonian music community that Taylor is very much a part of, if not a nucleus of.

The first track – “You Say” – touches lyrically on the concept of everyone telling you how to live your life, but Taylor sings about just keeping on keeping on, and spreading the love. This song really epitomizes what’s in store for the rest of the album. Pure uplifting  funk and soul. “The beauty inside of us, is a light that can guide us,” says Taylor in the hook, and he speaks from the heart.

The next track is a war song calling for peace and love, as Taylor says “I don’t need no gun for my protection.” The song has an awesome vibe to it that keeps you nodding your head along with it, doing exactly what he says he will in the song – he makes the listener feel good.

Taylor’s guitar work on these tracks stands out above all, using a variety of effects and loops to get exactly the jive he’s feeling and trying to make you feel.

Start to finish this album is pure soul gold that stands with the best of the best of any huge R&B, funk, jazz, or soul artists out there – with one hell of a modern feel. All those genres were created on the foundations of struggle and hard times, but finding the light and love between the lines. And in a world where those feelings resonate stronger than ever, it’s surprising that more great music like JTB is bringing to the table isn’t more common.

Other notable tracks include the third “Do You Remember” talking about a past love or memory dear to him, the metaphors and imagery speak strongly and can be related to by almost anyone – all the while you’re still nodding your head to these extremely catchy jazzy bass and drum lines.  The seventh track “Be Good To Your Woman,” is much needed and well placed on an album like Tech Noir which is all about respect for yourself and others.

In essence, this album is an auditory self-help lesson for anyone lost in our work-a-day world, looking for the difference between right and wrong, or even happy or sad – Taylor puts much into perspective for his listeners.

And to appease your curiousity, yes, this album was named after the bar in the first Terminator movie, which was actually named after the hybrid genre of fiction coined by James Cameron, which combines elements of film noir and science fiction.

Review by Devin Size

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