Music Review: What Kind of Fool
Between Brooke Annibale and David Ramirez, I already owe Josh a debt for his music recommendations. That debt has now increased with the advent of Gileah Taylor. If you have not read Josh's review of Songs for Late at Night, Vol. 2, you should. I was asked to write a few words about Taylor's first EP, What Kind of Fool, so without further ado...
The first track, “I'm All In”, is probably my favorite out of her entire repertoire, and a splendid showcase for the honeyed vocals, infectious songwriting, and arresting lyricism that make her such a joy to listen to. The song itself is at once a tender rebuke to cynicism and an ode to the renewing power of love:
It's clear that you've been hurt but I
Won't leave unless you leave with me
How's that for a threat? I mean it
“One Good Man” is jaunty without devolving into the irritating bounce of the average pop song. “If You Can't Tell” takes a darker turn. Lyrically, it's one of Taylor's strongest songs, an elegiac plea to the self-deceived heart. “Someone is fooling you and its you,” she croons, and the words stick long after the music has died down.
The title track is gorgeous, awash with strings, soft percussion, and stately piano. There's a subtlety to it I did not fully appreciate the first time through, but which subsequent listens have revealed. It's good. Terribly good. Meanwhile, “Cheap Paper Phone” closes the EP on a Psalmic note: “How long 'til I live with open eyes? How much mercy will the Man afford me? How long until His voice breaks through loud and clear?”
In sum, there is not a misstep on the entire album. If you're looking for a Christian singer-songwriter who hasn't succumbed to the bland dictates of CCM, Taylor is one to watch. You can stream her music on Spotify, but really, she's in the So Good You'll Eventually Cave and Buy the Damn Albums category. The sooner one accepts that, the better.