Dig Baton Rouge

Winter Music Review: BR artists show musical diversity

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Tailgate Sunset
Chase Tyler Band

“Tailgate Sunset” is the third full-length album released by Chase Tyler Band. The record was released digitally in August and physically in December.

This album starts off fast, with “If You Come Any Closer,” an upbeat, infectious country tune. While country music isn’t something that I listen to regularly, I can appreciate when a release from the genre is good, and this one from Chase Tyler Band is just that.

That may be because the album covers a lot of ground. It features songs about love, religion and everyday life that many can relate to. But under the lyrics of these songs is Tyler’s voice, which could earn him a spot on any reality singing competition.

At the surface level, this is another album from an up-and-coming country artist, but if you peel off a few layers, there’s an extremely talented singer-songwriter who happens to play country music.

The standout on the album is definitely its title track, “Tailgate Sunset,” which captures the best parts of summer with lighthearted lyrics and Tyler’s stunning voice.

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Regina
The Rakers

The Rakers, who describe themselves as “the thinking man’s drinking band,” released “Regina” in December. With 11 tracks, the album mixes blues and rock in an effortless way, but a couple of tracks don’t fit the main theme. The opening track, “John the Baptist,” mixes Louisiana blues music with fresh, upbeat vocals and an alternative history of John the Baptist. The song makes you want to get up and dance while laughing along with the lyrics and is a fun way to open up an album.

“He Ain’t Me” comes in with country-esque surf rock, bringing up the question of where exactly this album is going. The transition between a song worthy of a “True Detective” soundtrack to beach music is non-existent, which shows the band’s range, but also makes the record feel disjointed.
After this though, the album maintains an easy rock vibe until the end. While this isn’t necessarily as exciting as “John the Baptist,” it makes for good easy listening music. You could have this playing on Sunday morning and be happy. Possibly the best thing about “Regina” is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. There are fun tracks, there are slower tracks and there are downright groovy tracks. Really, there’s something for everybody.

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Loud and Clear –
Volume One
Molly Taylor

With just seven tracks, “Loud and Clear – Volume One” says a lot in a short amount of time. The 26-year-old singer-songwriter and Baton Rouge resident released the album back in October, and it quickly became clear that Taylor possesses a voice beyond her years.

“I Will Find My Way Back to You” elegantly combines soulful piano with Taylor’s distinct voice. An interesting choice for the first track on a debut album, Taylor croons words of heartache and always wanting to go back to a certain someone. While it seems like a painful way to open up a new record, the beauty of the words mixed with the sound excuse any awkwardness.

As the album wears on, it becomes more and more apparent just how individual Taylor’s style of music seems. It doesn’t quite fit into the country category, but it’s not indie either.

If “Loud and Clear” could be summed up in one word, it’d be “introspective.” Throughout the record, Taylor sings of the struggles of loving someone and how it affects the person doing the loving. This is best exemplified on “Leave Me Alone,” when Taylor sings “I try not to cry cause I’m a big girl; But sometimes it’s hard to hold it in; I just want to do what I want to do; I don’t want to listen to all your rules.”

The only flaw in the album is its repetitiveness. Taylor clearly has the musical and songwriting skills to create a range of tunes, but instead, most tracks have the same formula of intense piano music paired with harrowing lyrics. If Taylor pulls out more guitar like on “I Keep Crying,” on her next record, she’ll be solid.

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