Coito Ergo Sum - Julian Shah-Tayler Album Review
Categorizing artists, songwriters and musicians comes with reviewing territory, but Julian Shah-Tayler has mead an album of such bewildering depth and range, I've sort of given up trying to do so. Instead, I'll wade through the 21 songs (22 if you include the distorted extra track on disc one), without mentioning '80s pop, Brett Anderson (he looks a bit like him in one of the sleeve shots) or Dave Gahan (he sounds a bit like him on a few tracks – no really, he does).
What we have here are two discs, one called "Coito Ergo Sum", the other called "Mus Ogre Otioc", both bundled together as a limited-edition US release last year and finally due on these shores a full 12 months later. Whilst not a household name either side of the Atlantic, Shah-Tayler has been rubbing shoulders as a songwriter and performer with a few glitterati, including Macy Gray, Siobhan Fahey, Cut Copy and even multi-footwear collecting Imelda Marcos. Whilst this doesn't necessarily make for a pop career to us cynical Brits, I can conclude that this most cynical of writers (me) finds "Coito Ergo Sum" a rather intriguing prospect.
Disc one is the stronger of the two with memorable synth and analogue-pop in the shape of "Revolution", "Communication" and "Evaporate" and a stone-cold hit called "Beautiful World". In fact, there is little wrong with the rest of the first disc – it's a set of accomplished pop-songs dressed up with extravagant arrangements, without being as gaudy or pompous as Rufus Wainwright, excellent though he can be.
The accompanying second disc is less straight-forward, but does offer up some neat tunes, including "Christine", "(Melody) For You" and "Undefined", although the rest are little more than accomplished indie-pop – which is a rare thing, let me tell you. Part of me does think that there's a truly great 12-track album here, but Shah-Tayler has been a brave boy and attempted a double-CD – it's worth a punt.
Overall, I can heartily recommend most of "Coito Ergo Sum" and its accompanying reverse-titled freebie, a respectable assortment of rather enjoyable pop-music. Don't believe me? Check out the terrific "Lullabies", the last track on disc 2 – top music, top arrangement and top songwriting – this man means business. Shah-Tayler needs to get himself over to the UK soon.