Alexis Taylor - Beautiful Thing [2LP]
Beautiful Thing, the forthcoming solo album from Hot Chip's Alexis Taylor, is a very new, very individualist and - yes - very beautiful reflection of a life that's changed immeasurably since he started out in music. This is a musician, writer and singer who has carved his own unique path through the music of the 21st century, completely avoiding getting trapped along the way in dumb oppositions of pop vs avant-garde, dancefloor vs intellect, retro vs modernist and so on. He has worked with living legends, from major pop stars to free improvisors from the furthest left field, played huge arenas and tiny clubs without ever privileging one over the other, and through all of it, never stopped listening and learning. And all of this you can hear clearly woven through every part of Beautiful Thing, a record which brings all its myriad influences together into something strange and personal. This is also the first time Alexis has made a solo album with a producer, that producer being Tim Goldsworthy, the co-founder of Mo Wax and DFA Recordings, member of UNKLE and LCD Soundsystem.
When Alexis tracked down Tim, he was semi-retired from music, pursuing academic research, and frustrated with the creative opportunities that were offered him - but the two very quickly found a strong creative connection, and began talking about influences and processes in a way that almost came full circle to the way Alexis and Joe Goddard's first creative discussions worked with Hot Chip.
From arenas to piano recitals, bedrooms to big studios, raves to avant garde improv, all Alexis's accumulated experience is in this record, but so is that magical question around which all creation of art hinges: ''all the influences and all the technique are important,'' he says, ''but what I'm always thinking about, and can never really be sure about is: how does it make you feel?'' However much has changed over a fascinating career, some things remain fundamental, and that question of feeling - in the writing and in the hearing - is the most fundamental of all. And the crux of Beautiful Thing, the thing that makes give more and more to the listener on each new hearing, is that the technique and the feeling are inseparable. All of Alexis and Tim Goldsworthy's accumulated years of experience are all put to work in the pursuit of something subtle and elusive but ultimately quite profound and beautifully human.
01. Dreaming Another Life
02. Beautiful Thing
03. Deep Cut
04. Roll on Blank Tapes
05. Suspicious of Me
06. A Hit Song
07. Oh Baby
08. There's Nothing to Hide
09. I Feel You
10. Out of Time
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