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Chip Taylor

Unglorious Hallelujah/Red Red Rose – 2006 (Back Porch)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by Chip Taylor

Chip Taylor already has a thriving duo career with Carrie Rodriquez; it's a musical relationship that should give this experienced songsmith a big enough outlet for his songwriting. But the Taylor/Rodriquez pairing apparently cannot handle Taylor's current hyper-productive streak: this new 2-CD set contains a whopping 24 songs!

And boy, Taylor sure has serious thoughts on his mind these days. The track "Unglorious Hallelujah" may be sobering, but its story at least ends hopefully with killers deciding not to complete their murderous missions. "Thursday Night, Las Vegas Airport" features Taylor stuck in the bar at the Las Vegas Airport, alternately watching the war ("They're bombing the hell out of Bagdahd") on one TV, and the NCAA college basketball finals on another set.

"Red Red Rose" is an equally issue-focused disc, but it at least it finds Taylor with women (rather than wars) in his head. This second one opens with Taylor sounding brokenhearted on the CD's title track, then confused by the unscientific laws of love's attraction with "I Don't Know Why I Love You (I Just Do)." All throughout, Taylor's is supported by sparse arrangements beneath the ragged but right voice of this talented - and very busy - man.