The ratings system of the WENC Night Beat isn't exactly a closely guarded secret, but that doesn't mean that it's haphazard. One of the biggest factors, however, is expectations. With a debut artist, expectations, you would think, would be non-existent, but that really isn't true. In that case I judge them against the standard of what I feel would be the "Perfect Album" for the genre that they are in, or at least resemble for most of the album. Now in the case of an established artist, while I still have that perfect album in my mind, I also judge the album against what I feel is my expectations of a perfect album BY THAT ARTIST. Now sometimes an artists tries to make life difficult by promising never to make two albums that sound alike, like Project 86, but usually even there you can catch some similarities.
Now with a comeback things can get kind of crazy. And when an artists hasn't recorded an album in over 20 years. People change. But still, you can come up with something fairly accurate, as I did this past year with Sweet Comfort Band, which hadn't recorded in 30 years.
Speaking of crazy, it usually helps if the artist is certifiable, like Randy Stonehill or in this case Steve Taylor. After all age and maturity may pass, but crazy is forever. Goliath is the title of Taylor's return to the music industry. No longer saddled with just Some Band, he has finally found the Perfect Foil.
Now this isn't your daddy's Steve Taylor by any means (his heyday was between 1983-1987). The synthpop is gone. He never thought it aged well. Of course since I love techno and synthpop I have always begged to differ. There is no meltdown on this album or any tricks like Am I In Synch. A few throwbacks exist. Sympathy Vote has a distinct Whatever Happened to Sin vibe, but the sound is more mature. Mature sound, but the sarcasm (some might say venom, but it isn't) is still thick on tracks like Double Negative or Comedian ("I'm sick as a dog but I still fetch" is a new classic). The title track, a spin on the David/Goliath story in the Bible, has a video out. This is one mean little bunch.
I'm handing out candy here at +The WENC Night Beat as the Holiday Season approaches. Actually I seem to do it all year long. How else can you wind up with 30 or so perfect albums. I'm going to do it again, as I'm going to give Goliath
a perfect 5 Emerald Rating. It's good to have the Clone Prince behind the mic again. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.