When Calgary-based Taylor Cochrane left his role as lead vocalist for The Kronic Groove Band, many of his fans expressed dismay: Where would Taylor go? What would he do? What was next for the talented and much-loved artist?
Fans had no need to worry, however. From start to finish, Cochrane’s debut and highly anticipated album “Acoustic” is an incredible collection of original songs that showcase the artist’s impressive talent as a songwriter. The album represents years of struggle and accomplishment for the talented Cochrane. A self-described “attention whore”, Cochrane shows skill and passion that most artists can only dream to achieve. Starting with the catchy “Narcissism and Yellow Fever” and ending with a bang with “This Hurts Me More Than It Hurts You”, the album gets better with each listen. Cochrane draws on the inspiration of Elliott Smith, Say Anything, Regina Spektor, and The Beatles, adding his own brand of lyrics and energy to create a unique fusion of folk rock, reggae, ska and pop.
From the dreamy “It Feels Like We’re On A Safari”, which evokes images of beach parties and summer picnics, to the slower and honest self-reflective piece “Hypocrite”, Cochrane is a storyteller and a salesman. He’s not simply singing lyrics – his stories are believable and heartfelt, and his emotions, whether self-consciousness, hypochondria, or incredible sexual repression, come through clearly with each rhyme or folky phrase. At times bizarre and somewhat shocking, Cochrane’s lyrics are nothing less than honest, revealing a surprisingly deep and thoughtful writer. The listener is pulled in with catchy melodies and beats, but the lyrics themselves have so many double entendres and tricks that each listen reveals something that had previously gone unnoticed. With numerous double meanings, Cochrane’s lyrics are impressive and at times beautiful, at the very least.
It is refreshing to find a songwriter who doesn’t take himself so seriously and who is not just “dumping his depression on the world”. Cochrane reminds us of the ups and downs of being young, the struggles of life and relationships, and the day-to-day joy of being a gangster thug. We may not all feel the same way or understand what’s happening, but we can appreciate Cochrane’s quirkiness, his humour, and his incredible talent as a songwriter who still has so much left to share. The album truly is an incredible achievement of which Cochrane should be extremely proud. There is no doubt that he has “the wit, the talent, the confidence, [and] the inspiration to be great”, and no less is to be expected.
Listen to “Acoustic” and expect to love every track. You won’t be disappointed.