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JFH Indie Review

JFH Indie Inspection Review

Larry Taylor
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Larry Taylor
Signs and Wonders

Street Date: December 24, 2023
Style: Rock
Official Site: LarryMTaylor.com
Buy It: AmazonMP3



Larry Taylor is a retired engineer but also a multi-instrumentalist who enjoys writing ambitious rock operas. Having already released He Is Risen, covering the death and resurrection of Jesus, Taylor is back with the "sequel," Signs and Wonders. This latest rock opera picks up where Taylor left off, this time covering the first 5 chapters of Acts and the birth and growth of the early church. Taylor's approach to telling the story is unique, avoiding a grand narrative style in favor of putting himself (and the listener) into the role of the disciples and others who come and go in the story. He also opts out of simply setting Scripture to music and writes all original lyrics (that rhyme, too). While there are moments where the melody doesn't do the lyrics any favors, for the most part Taylor has some neatly written lines that shine out (such as "We stand accused of this good deed/Done to a sick man in dire need," on "Peter and John's Trial").

The main strength of this project, though, lies in the music. Taylor's guitar playing may have rough patches (there are moments early in the "Overture" that don't feel smooth), but all in all, he has written some catchy hooks and riffs ("Lying to God" contains what feels like a lost riff from early '80s Petra). The music does feel dated (especially the synthesizer), but the classic rock quality actually helps give the album some character. The main weakness, on the other hand, is in the overall production. From the cover art to the mix (especially Taylor's vocals), Signs and Wonders feels like it could use some extra polish. Some of this may be budgetary constraints, but there are projects out there that can overcome such restrictions. Still, Larry Taylor has an intriguing run of rock operas going, covering material often skipped over. With the potential seen on Signs and Wonders, it will be interesting to see where he goes from here.

- Review date: 3/4/24, written by John Underdown of Jesusfreakhideout.com



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