Lisa Taylor "Shines" on her sophomore album.
Lisa Taylor's new release "Let Love Shine" was released on February 1st, and has been gathering major buzz ever since. With a voice that is being compared to the great Stephanie Mills, this album's soulful vocals, honest lyrics and irresistible hooks have listeners calling it "one of the best albums of the year." It has quickly become a top-seller on cdbaby (Neo-Soul and Urban R&B charts) as well as Amazon ("Hot New Releases in Neo-Soul") and currently has 7 singles in the top-40 (Neo-Soul mp3 chart.) Radio play and interviews on the UK's Starpoint Radio, Ramjam Radio, Solar Radio and Tropical FM have helped place "Let Love Shine" onto Amazon UK's top-selling Neo-Soul albums list with 3 singles currently in the top 30. "Used To Be The One" reached the #1 spot in April. She has been a featured artist on Neo2Soul blog, HKGFM (Hong Kong), Ramjam Radio, Solar Radio, Smooth 98.1 FM (Nigeria) and The Science of Soul. "Let Love Shine" made it's debut on the UK Soul Chart at #21 in March. By April, it had spent 4 straight weeks at the #1 spot. This refreshing new voice is poised to take the soul world by storm.
Lisa Taylor brings a “girl next door” sensibility to her new album Let Love Shine. Now, let us consider that phrase ‘girl next door.’ People hold a certain perception of ladies described as the girl next door. “Nice” would be the prevailing perception. She’s nice looking. She’s nice to everyone on the block. The guys think she’s cool, but maybe a little boring. The sisters don’t have a problem with her, but she comes off as kind of unapproachable. Those perceptions, as Taylor shows on Let Love Shine, can be limited.
Let Love Shine allows Taylor to give a voice to the contradictions and conflicts that reside in the mind of the girl next door. The native Hawaiian mines the nice girl in public/seductress behind closed doors dichotomy on the seductively funky “Shy Gurl.” Still waters, as they say, run deep, and this track finds Taylor revealing her deep well of passion to a fellow who is likely pleasantly surprised by the revelation. Taylor’s beau might be surprised, but the lyrics display this nice girl is very aware of her power. “Tonight’s the night/gonna say and do everything that’s been on my mind/I haven’t told you about the need that’s been building up inside/about the things I do to you in my dreams/boy I been waking up in a sweat/Getting’ tired of being the good girl/got some needs I gotta fill tonight.”
Taylor’s self-awareness means that she realizes that nice girls often get taken for granted. That self-awareness takes Taylor to a dark place on “Used to Be The One.” Taylor paints a picture of a scorned woman who drawn into bouts of bitter recollections whenever she spots her ex with his new love.
Nice girls expect other people to be nice, and they are not shy about being brutally honest to those who don’t measure up. Taylor musters that righteous indignation as she gives a philandering husband the verbal business on the jazzy “Man Like You.” “I have no use for a man like you,” Taylor sings in a voice that might remind some of a young Stephanie Mills. “You think we women are all the same/Call me on fashioned/But I’m quite happy with a life love/that’s the most important thing to me”
The girl next door knows when she finds that special thing – even if she can’t always find the right words. The mid tempo ballad “Funny Feeling” finds Taylor assaulting the listener with sweet sensations to show rather than tell us how love changed her life. Love makes the sun shine on a rainy day, and placed a smile on her face from the moment she got out of bed.
The title track could easily become the next steppers anthem. Taylor sings about the glow she feels when she is spends time with the man she loves on this breezy mid tempo tune. “Everything thing that I’m feeling now/everything that I’m dreaming now/everything I ever needed to know is all right here/everything I could ever want/everything I could ever feel/Everything I ever needed to know is all right here.”
Taylor explores the deeper emotions and senses on Let Love Shine. She paints vivid images of the joy of love found, the pain of losing a friend and the simultaneous feelings of rapture and fear of falling that often accompanies that trip into love. Still waters do indeed run deep. Recommended.
Howard Dukes - SoulTracks http://www.soultracks.com/lisa-taylor-let-love-shine-review
Funk styled rhythms with wah-wah guitar effects bring us back to the 80s and early 90s. Lisa Taylor is full of soul and boasts a special joy difficult to find on the charts nowadays. Her music has an inseparable musical chemistry; no big arrangements, just a quiet mingle of jazz and blues and R&B, almost elegant but full of taste. In ‘Wake Up To You’, accompaniments with a playful, upbeat tone dance along with Taylor’s sensual, clean vocals. The thick texture of backing vocals, the jingle of a piano and a strong bass beat hints at some musicality against the unforgettable lyric – ‘When I wake up, when I wake up to you”. Having said that, I personally prefer ‘Let Love Shine’ – I feel as though it demonstrates what Lisa’s voice can really do and lyrically, it’s a step up from her other piece with much more variation when we look over song structure and melody. Overall, an artist to really kick back and relax to after a long day.
Chloe Cheng- The Underground HK (Hong Kong)
Sonne und Liebe. Wie schön. Lisa Taylor kommt uns aus Hawaii entgegen und bringt reichlich Wärme und Gefühl mit. Ihr zweites Album nennt sich passenderweise “Let Love Shine” und spannt einen weiten Bausch und Bogen durch die immer gültigen Soul-Werte zwischen Moderne und Tradition. Immer in genügendem Abstand zu schlaffem Neo-Soul Brachland und allzu radio-kompatiblen Plattitüden führt uns die Lisa über das Hochland herzerwärmender Balladen, um dann in behender Schußfahrt den nächstgelegenen Dancefloor anzusteuern. Dort eine Basis aus Funk, hier eine Spur vom Jazz, dazu durchdachte Arrangements und greifbare Melodielinien. “Let Love Shine” – so geht´s.
Jorg Michael Schmitt, Sonic Soul Reviews (Germany)
" Taylor has a mean set of pipes, and she struts around the stage with confidence and grace. "
Stephanie Lysaght, LA Weekly - LA Weekly
"Hawaiian-born pop thrush Lisa Taylor deserves to have her considerable vocal skills showcased. She is a magnetic talent who projects emotional truth through every number she performs."
Julio Martinez, Variety.com - Variety.com
" Lisa Taylor is a soulful singer, she sings about life. Her CD "LT" has a little something for whatever you are going through in life. Her song “The Day” is one of my favorites, it spoke to me. She is definitely an artist that has something to say. Lisa Taylor is an artist to watch. LM"
Lynn Mills - Streetwise radio
“Steadily building a reputation as one of the best R&B acts around the Monterey Bay Area, singer/songwriter Lisa Taylor and her top-notch band Soul City have earned their audience the old fashioned way: by playing night after night, club after club, catching the ears of one fan at a time. Blending covers of classic R&B tunes with heartfelt and well-crafted original material that dips into pop, reggae, neo-soul and more, this is an outfit with the style and chops to take its groove to the next level. ”