204. Squint – Steve Taylor
It has been 17 years since Squint, the last of Steve Taylor’s recordings, was released. I, for one, say “It’s time for a follow up already!”
Very few artists on Christian music that have been silent for two decades are ever able to maintain the loyal fan base that Taylor has preserved. His timely and timeless music seems to transcend time and generations despite the rather dated musical expressions.
Squint, though, stands out as possibly the record that sounds the least tied to a musical date. It’s the one album with no musical expiration date. Perhaps because it didn’t sound like anything during any time so no one can really pigeon hole into a time frame. More musically experimental, more musically “alternative” rock and more “musical” in general, Squint seems to also glean form the musical heritage of his former band, Chagall Guevara.
Highlights from the album include…well…the whole album. Though every song is not the masterpiece that others may be, there are no “fast forward” tunes in the bunch. Even the utterly unique and oddly bizarrely wonderful “Cash Cow” does not spoil with time.
Where Taylor does excel on this album more than on previous releases is on the more straight ahead rock anthem songs. The Lament of Desmond RG Underwood-Frederick IV, Bannerman, Smug and Curses do not suffer from the “novelty” label that previous songs have. That should be seen as stating that the album lacks the normal taylor humor, but rather, far from it. The humor is more pointed, not as broad and, in many ways, more effective.
But a real highlight and one for the ages is “Jesus Is For Losers.” Taylor’s most interesting melody, aura and strongest vocal in his solo career make the song a classic. I was speaking to a friend in the music back in 1993 about this album and he (an artist himself) mentioned that “Jesus is for Losers” is the type of song every artists strives to write. I would agree.
This is not the first nor the last release from Taylor to make this list. If I slow down, maybe there may be time to add a new one it.