by Dagmar Patterson
The blues, rock and roll and country all jump through Taylor Hollingsworth’s latest CD, Tragic City. That is no unpleasant surprise considering he’s from Alabama. Though it’s not clear where Hollingsworth would classify his style, and it’s hard to say what this music really wants to be. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but in combination with his voice, which becomes irritatingly nasal, it’s problematic.
“Take the Money” starts the cd strongly and nice horn work is featured in several songs, including the infectious “Little Queenie”—“I was your lover in a past life,” he sings. The second best song comes third in the form of the poppy and punchy “I’m a Runaway (New Orleans)”—with some pretty organ playing. “Duct-taped Heart” follows nicely. But then the disc loses focus and meanders. “Gambling Barroom Blues” is plain annoying. Other songs start to sound just like each other. The vocals whine. In general the music either goes from pleasant to monotonous.
“Heart Attack” and “In From the Storm” show off good songwriting and real potential, but then the spell is broken by the truly bad “One Stop Motel.” For some reason, the CD, which is way too long at 14 tracks, buries its best song as a Bonus Track. Hollingsworth’s voice sounds gentle and groovy in this psychedelic piece that comes out of nowhere, and is likely how the rest of the CD should have sounded.