GUSWORLD
Single Of The Week 03/04/98

Single Of The Week is where I review a single I'm particularly enamoured of at the moment. It might be a brand spanking new release, or a classic from decades past that I just feel like going on about.

Autodidact
John Taylor
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The words 'solo project' are often the harbinger of doom for music fans. On the ABBA mailing lists I subscribe to, while more or less everyone agrees that stuff recorded under the ABBA name is fab, the same can't be said of the previous or subsequent work by the individual band members. Mention of Frida's underrated 1984 album Shine can start a mini-riot as often as not.

With that background, it's no surprise that when I purchased Feelings Are Good And Other Lies, the 1995 album by Duran Duran bassist John Taylor, I thought it would be a curio rather than an actual musical find. That it turned out to be the latter was even more surprising given two undeniable facts:

The album. however, overcomes these faults and is rather good listening, actually. The title track was re-recorded by Taylor's other extra-Duranular project, Nuerotic Outsiders, with a better lead vocal, but slightly less musical punch.

Anyway, three or so years down the track, Mr Taylor has up and left Duran for good and released an EP, Autodidact. It continues along much the same lines as before, except that the grunge-like guitar crunch is a little more muted by a pop sensibility and the singing voice is somewhat improved. The lyrics run in the same groove, which is to say that they can be rather interesting if you know a lot about Taylor's personal life, failed marriage to Amanda DeCadenet and other such matters.

An added bonus is that the video for the previous album's title track is also included on the CD, although it ain't no visual stunerama. The only real false step on the album is a selection of B-grade 50s style 'My wife is so . . . ' gags which get a whole track to themselves for some reason. On the whole, though, a neat purchase, especially if you can get it for less than the $30 I paid for it.


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