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LISTEN: Beautiful Thing, Alexis Taylor

Alexis Taylor, the British vocalist and keyboardist originally from the band, Hot Chip, just released his fourth solo album, Beautiful Thing.’ Produced by DFA’s, Tim Goldsworthy, Beautiful Thing’ combines glacial pop and electric dance rhythms in order to create a unique culmination of sounds. This is Taylor’s first time working with Goldsworthy and the stylist abilities of the two compliment each other in a way that is enticing, yet understated.

Leading in with a tribal drum beat and synth-pop whispers, ‘Dreaming Another Life’ is calm and collected. With lyrics, “I’m dreaming another life / It’s one I can’t hold inside”, you feel almost paralyzed from the tranquil vocals and are transported to another dimension. The simplistic lyrics combined with the hollow echoes and guitar strums juxtapose the electronic dance sound of the second track, ‘Beautiful Thing’.

‘Beautiful Thing’ wakes you up and you can’t help but nod your head to the beat. The quiet moans entwined throughout the song are reminiscent of Guns N’ Rose’s, ‘Rocket Queen’ and add a mesmerizing quirkiness to the track.

‘Deep Cut’ transfers back into the serene tone that was held throughout ‘Dreaming Another Life’. The soothing vocals as Taylor sings, “Don’t get caught up in what’s not real”, are ethereal and you can’t help but picture yourself drifting away on a cloud of loneliness. ‘Suspicious of Me’ has a cheery atmosphere and the lyrics, “I’ve given up and I feel so much better”, depict the feeling of having a weight lifted off of your chest after realizing there is no point in caring about things you have no control over.

If the 80s taught us nothing, it’s that every good album needs a ballad, and ‘A Hit Song’ is just that for Beautiful Thing. The lyrics ,“I need a hit song / Straight to your heart song”, are the epitome of the track as a whole, and Taylor’s vocals and lyrics delve deep into your soul. The lone piano and a voice are all Taylor needs to mesmerize you and make you nostalgic for experiences you have never had.

‘Oh Baby’ combines Tetris video game beeps with a constant keyboard beat to create a sound that is somewhere between, The Beatles, ‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand’ and Alt-J’s, ‘In Cold Blood’. The lighthearted lyrics, “Oh baby when you hold my hand / You make me feel like a living man”, are a sweet and wholesome change in pace compared to the rest of the album.

Closing off the album with, ‘Out of Time’, Taylor brings you into a dreamlike state with euphoric flute and wind sounds. With a vibe similar to that of Céline Dion’s, ‘My Heart Will Go On’, you can picture yourself drifting away in the ocean with nothing but the stars and sky for miles. The serene sounds burrow into your mind and you are left wanting to leave the track on repeat so the album won’t come to an end.

The whole Beautiful Thing album is an eclectic concoction of beats and lyrics, and an amazing fourth solo album for Alexis Taylor. Beautiful Thing is available on iTunes, Spotify, and other streaming sites!

Review by Emily Brower

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