Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Taylor Hicks - Why He Matters

I've already expressed my undying love for the grey-haired fox with the soulful sound. And I know most of the world could not care less about Taylor winning the title of "American Idol" on a TV show.

But it does matter.

Popular music has been in a rut. If you look at the Billboard Hot 100, you see a lot of hip-hop, a lot of rap, a lot of vapid pop music. Some of it is good, no doubt. Most of it is forgettable. The worst part? Most of the music doesn't have life, energy or...soul.

Enter Taylor. Soul Patrol.

You want to know why he won? Yes, he embraced his fans, shouting out the 'Soul Patrol!' at every opportunity. Yes, he refused to compromise who he was. And yes, he was an underdog, who everyone loves.

Mostly he won, because his music moves. It's also the reason why Elliot Yamin gained in the last few weeks, getting better and better with every performance. If you'd given Elliot two more weeks, he might have won. Taylor has the kind of voice that pierces something deep in our bones, our need to feel. All last week I was playing James Brown's Love, Power, Peace in my car, needing more soul in my life. James Brown, just like Ray Charles, Joe Cocker and several others just make you feel good about yourself and life in general. People need that right now.

Does this signal a sea change in popular music? Probably not, but Taylor does fill a void in the pop culture landscape.

And the void in my heart and in my soul is now refilled. Thanks, Taylor. I needed that.


Brett said...

The flaw in your reasoning (IMpompousO) is using "commercial radio" as interchangeable and synonomous with "contemporary music."

Yeah, the music served up over the radio waves today is, more often than not, just bloody damned awful: over-processed under-sincere slop with all the emotional substance of thinned down baby food.

I just returned from a big Texas music festival (meaning "a festival of Texas music") where 15,000 of us danced and sang and screamed and hollered for music which the fine folks (sarcasm-- look for it in good writing everywhere thee days) at Clear Channel and Infinity don't rate as worthy of our notice.

Good music -- great music -- continues to get made, new and fresh, every day. The trick is to not look to your local radio station to find it for you.

writergurl said...

Good Lord in heaven above, if TAYLOR HICKS (Mr. I-dance-like I've-been-hit-with-a-Tazer) is the "answer" to music's woes, we're in a even bigger world of hurt than I thought.

His voice? Nothing special. But, then again, neither was Katherine's. Poor Elliot would have won had he been taller, had less of an overbite and no gap in his teeth. His voice was certainly better than Taylor's.

Chesher Cat said...

I loved Taylor Hicks from his audition on...until the very end when they picked that piece o' crap unmemorable single for him. Why has he agreed to sing that song? It is a terrible song and doesn't fit who he is as a singer.

I heard he's a really good guitar player and writes his own stuff. So why is he letting the Idol idiots try to turn him into a middle of the road piece of fluff? Please, Taylor, run as fast as you can back to your roots and let us hear what you've really got.

Shawn said...

I'm sorry, but Taylor Hicks doesn't even hold a candle to Michael McDonald.

Hearing that boy's vanilla version of Try A Little Tenderness a couple weeks ago was painful, as was his spastic fit at the end. Soul Patrol, indeed.

About:Blank said...

Yes, an unlikely winner who one because of staying true to himself. America is in need of a music shake-up.