It took me a while to get this album to sink in – I played it on and off for a few weeks before I realised this was a bit of avant garde, a bit of jazz rock and should be interpreted as such. Robin Taylor has been working under this name since 1993 and this is the 14th studio album of Taylor’s Universe.
An album that starts promising, with upbeat drums, a guitar and Minimoog taking a fast start. However, it slows down quickly and the opening track Other Meetings becomes more repetitive in nature. Repetitiveness is the issue with this album altogether, all my notes on the first 4 tracks contain that word in one form or another. This is not necessarily bad, but in this case I find it annoying – an album of a well established artist, who works together with a great set of guest musicians (I don’t know all of them, but they certainly are skilled when listening to the album) should not be boring. The fact that I feel the second track Beta X consists of a number of parts that seem to be glued together in a somewhat incoherent way doesn’t help either – but with the band being categorised as avant garde it may be that I miss the point myself.
This feeling remains throughout the first four tracks, although once you get the hang of it, it is pretty clear that the fourth track, Interrail, is an expression in sound of a railroad trip with a few stop overs.
On the sweet, soprano sax oriented Laura’s Lullaby the music comes closer to jazz instead of avantgarde prog, and more likeable to me. That continues in Für Louise, although the low, somewhat droning sound of the first 2 minutes might have been shorter. After this intro a jazzy, somewhat fun piece of, again jazzy, music with a lead role for the saxophone and Minimoog again.
Closing track Autumn River is an acquired taste, like the first 4 tracks. It consists of electric guitar and Ebowed guitar loops and doesn’t do much for me.
All in all, not an album that I will play a lot, but one that might be appealing to fans of avant garde music and more specifically Taylor’s Universe.