Chagall Guevara Chagall Guevara: MCA

Cornerstone Magazine Volume 19 Issue 94
March(?) 1991
© 1991 Jesus People USA-Evangelical Covenant Church
Page 29

Like someone said, "It's not what you say, it's the way you say it." With Steve Taylor disappeared from public view, no one thought it was because he'd run out of things to say. And sure enough, just when you thought it was safe to stop thinking, Taylor's back more chic and cheekier than ever.

Rather than surround himself with musical yes-men, Taylor has joined hands with close friends Dave Perkins, Lynn Nichols, and Mike Mead. This shared musicial vision is a cross between the Byrds, the Doors, and the kind of quirky alternative rock Taylor's always done. The overall effect is sixties psycho-delia meets the nineties groove. Of special mention is bassist Wade Jaynes. I don't know who he is, but he's a monster.

With Taylor at the lyrical helm, it's no surprise this is stuff for the thinkin' man. The mood ranges from the outrageous but well-placed sarcasm of "Play God"--"you command such immense fees / from your low friends in high places / if I crawled on both knees / would I stay in your good graces?"--to the painfully apt pun of "The Rub of Love": "dad's not talking at all / everything's making him mad / I used to come running to him / now I'm learning to crawl ... dad, do you even care? / this is the rub."

Some will call this "art rock" as if it weren't accessible to the average listener. I'll admit that at first hearing I was a bit taken aback. But this album has grown on me to the point where it's easily the most played in my collection. Good art should distinguish itself not only by rising above the pack but by staying there after everything else has fallen by the wayside. By that definition this is art rock with a capital "A."

Dave Canfield