Chip Taylor and The New Ukrainians release F**k All The Perfect People
Chip Taylor and The New Ukrainians
F**k All The Perfect People
By JD Duarte of BrooklynCountry.com
Yonkers native Chip Taylor has been an active songwriting presence for 40 years, though many music fans know Taylor’s songs better than his voice. Huge hits like “Wild Thing” (The Troggs version is listed in Rolling Stones 500 Greatest Songs of All Time) made Taylor a name in the industry. With over a dozen albums to his name, Chip Taylor has shown influence and longevity in a relatively fickle trade.
His latest release, F**k All The Perfect People,with back-up band The New Ukrainians, is a wonderful representation of not only of Chip Taylor’s songwriting, but the kind of performance that keeps Taylor and company interested in the craft of songwriting.
The album has a casual, unrehearsed feel, as if it was recorded with the entire band sitting together in a living room, as opposed to a studio. The opening track “Be Kind” has the feel of a live cut, with Taylor calling the changes to the band, referring to them by name and calling them out as they take their respective solos. The title track plays on Hamlet’s existential pondering of whether “to be or not to be.” The verses focuses on reflection, and a call to independent thinking; Taylor’s “Jesus died for something or nothing at all” may just say it all.
The entire album is wrought with beautiful harmonies and a mellow vibe. During “Phoned in Dead,” a countrified blues tune with a down-home feel, Taylor continues to call out the chord changes, lead instruments, and band member’s names. “Outside the Human Condition,” a gospel-infused hymn, is one of the most endearing songs on the album. It begins with spoken words, and the music slowly fades in.
The latter quarter of the album shows a much more mellow side. “I Know the Dark,” “Thoughts of a Child,” and “This Darkest Day” reveal a greater intensity of story-telling, like one generation passing on history to the next.
Considering Taylor’s extensive repertoire, a killer group of musicians, a light-hearted approach to recording, and the eloquence embedded in Taylor’s lyric style F**k All The Perfect People is bound to a hit among fans of roots music and acolytes of the great American folk songwriting tradition.