And I bet you thought I had finished that thought…


I wanted to spend some time discussing two of the more thoughtful comments from my last post. 

But before we go there, I’m going to state, yet once again, that I established this blog so that anyone who considers themselves a fan of Taylor Hicks could express their point of view.  Likewise, if you disagree with a viewpoint expressed here, you are welcome to argue your opposing POV.  What I will not tolerate, however, is name calling and bashing other posters for their POV’s/comments.  Anyone who is name calling and not providing intelligent dialogue will be deleted.  Thanks for respecting my rules on my blog.

Moving forward, I wanted to spend some time elaborating my thoughts on two topics.  The lifting of the media ban and what I meant by “letting the music set you free”.

tandjam Says:

I don’t think ‘promote fan interaction’ is about ‘can’t we all get along.’ I think it’s just fun to trade and share media from live shows, and so it is good for getting the fans engaged and interested and ‘interacting’. And if it’s good for the fans, it’s good for Taylor. If there is media to hear, aren’t we all more active, more ‘hooked in’…? Don’t we interact more, talk about the music more and just do more fan stuff if there is media out there? I think we do.
The active, interested fans are spending fans

Okay, so I didn’t REALLY think Taylor meant that “all my fans should get along”. I just thought it was interesting that he put a total ban on videos/audios of the shows, but then decided that maybe he should allow it. I mean, there was so much angsting and arguing over how some of the fanbase wasn’t listening to Taylor regarding the videos, it was ridiculous. Like I stated before, I don’t believe that one can market music like it’s been done for the past few decades. It’s a different time, and obviously people can pick and choose what they like and what they don’t. It’s not like when I was a kid, and bought an album. Now, with iTunes, you can choose which songs to buy. If people have heard those songs, then they just might want to buy it.


rajrae Says:
This is what you opened the entry with, and I’m trying understand what you mean so the discussion can go there a little bit. It implies that you have doubts (or flat out deny) that Taylor’s music has actually “set him free.” I’m trying to understand your meaning.
Is it that Taylor is NOT actually “free” yet, perhaps because (as discussed yesterday) he has put out this “Entertainer” persona, first on AI and now Grease and the TV appearances? And as an “entertainer” he has to maintain a certain image that is not really who he is, hence he is still not really freed by his music?
Or perhaps you don’t believe he really exhibits freedom, letting go, really FEELING his music when he performs, or when he recorded the new cd? After you said what you did, you put up a performance video.
Neither? Both? Something else entirely?

 Actually, it is a little bit of both. I think everybody acts differently at different times. But, when Taylor went on AI, I think he deliberately set out to become somebody that he wasn’t. He was the southern gentleman, the innocent performer. He was whatever was going to get him the most votes. I’m not faulting him for that. He did what he had to do. But because he made that choice to “fool” his audience, he had to retain that persona. Whenever he stepped out of that persona, he caught hell from his “fans”. So, in that aspect, no, I don’t think that music set him free.

As for feeling the music when he performs…yes, I think occasionally he feels the music, and you can always tell when that happens. As for the recorded CD, that’s a different story. I think his first two CD’s, In Your Time and Under The Radar were actually better samples of his recorded voice. He seemed more at ease, more in his element. He didn’t lope through all the lyrics in the same tone, and he was much more emotive. I don’t know if he is less confident of himself now than he was before American Idol. Maybe that’s the reason for the difference. Even though The Distance is his “baby”, I wish he would have let himself go just a little bit more with the vocals.


105 Responses to “And I bet you thought I had finished that thought…”

  1. It’s a little disheartening to think that if Taylor’s “Southern Gentleman” persona was only an act put on to win AI and to keep his fans, he’s not really the very genuine person that he appears to be. I have a hard time believing that. He certainly SEEMS genuine and humble. Is he that good of an actor? I doubt it. I actually think it’s more complicated than that. It’s not just “good Taylor” vs “bad Taylor.” Fake Taylor vs real Taylor. (Taylor 1 & Taylor2) I think they are BOTH him, but because he did put this particular persona “out there”, he is now unable able to allow his full self to be revealed without people freaking out about it. I think that is a pretty common thing for most entertainers though. I mean how well can we REALLY know any celebrity without being their intimate friend? Unfortunately, they all have to maintain an image.

    Or do they? Perhaps celebrity entertainers do but I would think an independent musician would not have to so much. Since Taylor is using the entertainer to support the musician, he’s pretty much stuck in that place where his image is important. Must be like walking a tightrope.

    And one more thought – the musicians controlled by the big machine are also very much stuck in that place where they are made into an “image” that is probably not much at all like their real selves. That’s one aspect of AI that I hate. I can just imagine the record producers or executives sitting there scheming, figuring out whether they can (and how) to turn those young kids into something they can “market” and get rich off of. AND take advantage of them. I’m glad to find resources here to help me develop some indie knowlege and introduce me to another way to approach music.

    Sorry if I’m rambling – maybe too much wine tonight. LOL

  2. Glad that you returned the conversation to the topic, IAG.
    I have wrestled with this about Taylor, too.
    And yes, rajrae, I do believe that Taylor walks a tightrope.

    He did take on a persona to win AI, and we’ve tried to unlearn that…but Taylor’s clinging to the AI stuff with the soul patrol shout outs, etc, has made it hard to.

    But IAG is talking about the music he makes, I think.
    We have had a lot of hope for something different in his music when we latched onto lyrics like…

    “look at the people around you
    stabbing at your heart
    but you still smile in kindness
    for not knowing who they are”

    …and thought we might hear more of the same from Taylor in his future music. But that reallly has not transpired, other than Maybe You Should.
    That song sounds VERY Taylor…and more like what we were expecting from him, I think.

    I think that Taylor is more an appreciator of music than a maker of music.(?) I don’t say that with a lot of confidence, but it is a developing thought.
    I don’t doubt he LOVES every bit of the music he uses in his shows and is on his album. But is he feeling it? Hmmmmm.

    I have never clung to the fantasy that Taylor is an emoting poet.

    So….although he is talented, he may just be using the music as a vehicle…kind of like a joke would be for the comedian….to get the attention he needs. The applause he craves. The love to fill up the dark corners of his head.

    I also hear him saying, … “i’ve given you the best ive got to offer cuz there aint no more in here to see”….

    That may very well be true with Taylor….we may not see any more of his insides through his music….as there may not be any more than what’s already been seen. (I think that is most likely not true, as I sense Taylor can be a pretty good thinker and maybe even a deep guy…we may not be privy to it through his music).

    So we may just need to decide if we like watching him entertain to make a living and to make himself whole….or look elsewhere for the poet to bare their soul through their music to fill up our own.

    And, of course, I could be all wet on any and all theories.

  3. Lol…I rambled more than you…see below. 🙂

  4. if you say so Says:

    Interesting post, IAG. You said something about Taylor portraying himself as the “innocent performer”. I am curious as to what you mean by that. No, he didn’t swear and toss a few back while in front of the camera. He wouldn’t have been allowed to do that. Of course he can’t let us see every side of him on a show that is supposed to be “family friendly”.

    What could he have done differently to convince you that he wasn’t trying to be someone he wasn’t?

  5. suze, I see that you were coming with a totally different perspective than I was regarding your expectations for this new CD. You already knew the young, hurting, poetic Taylor and his music. I did not. I only listened to his Early Works for the first time ever this week.(Other than Soul Thing and The Deal.) I only first “met” Taylor on the last four episodes of AI. My expectations were more towards his voice and performance, and yes the songs too, but I don’t have a problem (or disappointment) with them as you do because of my different perspective.

    After reading your post I went to reexamine all the lyrics on The Distance from your perspective (or what I think you were saying was your perspective.) I do agree that of the songs Taylor himself penned, MYS is the most poetic, and it is one of my favorites. I think it’s beautiful. The other more poetic songs are penned by others (IAOK, ILOAB) but again, I don’t have a problem with that because they are great songs and the vocals are wonderful IMO. Those two particular songs are my TOP favorites. Now Taylor’s songs, other than MYS do not have that deep poetic sense you were hoping for, but perhaps that is because he is not in the same place in his life as he was when he wrote the earlier songs? You know, him coming out on top of a nationally broadcast (maybe worldwide for all I know) show is something that changed his life. I’m sure he’s not the same. Maybe you would rather he didn’t win so you could have kept things as they were but what is is. Perhaps it takes being in pain to compose the kinds of songs you desire. ?? I really don’t know. Maybe for Taylor is did.

    Ok now to the other songs he wrote. Taylor was very playful with some of these songs. I think WDB is really funny and clever and playful. KIR is also fun, but it does make a social commentary about how superficial everyone has become and how ridiculous fame and celebrity are. But he’s not heavy with it, he more pokes fun at it. NFF and TD are both very uplifting. NFF of course being about leaving all that hurt and pain behind and “moving on down the line.” This song is growing on me but not a favorite. Actually, I like it more when I’m listening to it. LOL TD- maybe the words aren’t “deep’ but the message is a good one and the music is my kind of music. It’s another favorite. YWC has a similar theme so I think unity has become an important issue to him? On both, again, I think his vocals are excellent. SMB – was that a pre-idol song? I’ve seen youtube videos but I’m not sure if it’s pre or post idol. Whatever, I’m from the south so the style of the song and the lyrics both are appealing to me. Have you ever lived where you can “cut the air with a knife?” I can sure relate to that. LOL I love the driving southern rock. Nineteen – to me is a moving tribute to the troops and I can’t argue with that as I have a Marine son who just got back from his 3rd tour in Iraq last week. Another son is in the Navy. I really don’t get into WGHI for some reason. That’s at the bottom for me.

    And now the conclusion to my epistle…. I can very much understand your disappointment. Maybe Taylor HAS moved on from what you like and want to hear from him? But my expectations were very different and I really do like this album. Actually, I didn’t know what to expect but I’m pretty open to lots of different kinds of music. Even if it’s not ALL blues, or all soul, or rock I’m still happy. Thanks for this discussion. It makes me think.

  6. taylorfan06 Says:

    “…But, when Taylor went on AI, I think he deliberately set out to become somebody that he wasn’t.” aig

    “deliberately”, Wow, now there’s some fighting words.

    So is this what Taylor “told you” himself. If not, I find that to be a VERY arrogant statement, aig. What are the facts that led you to this brilliant conclusion? You haven’t made a compelling argument at all to back yourself up. A judge would throw you case out.

    I have met Taylor on a few different occasions, and I found him to be very grounded, kind, and sincere, also a bit shy. Overall, I would say he was very generous in nature. He’s just a human being trying to get by in life doing what he loves. Not very many of us know at a young age what we want to be when we grow up, but Taylor had that vision, and I think is succeeding very well, considering. I admire people like that. Some of the directionless, can tend be a bit judgmental, or jealous of those kind of people.

    On AI, of course he was aware of how he was being perceived, and I don’t have to be SO suspicious about him and think that he was just putting on an “act”. He may have been in uncomfortable situations, and maybe even drained mentally from the rigors of the show, but I think he handled himself like a champ and showed A LOT of character, especially with the many verbal snipings from that PIG, Slimon Scowell, yeah that’s right. I mean, “Taylor, are you drunk?”. I found that to be so disrespectful and uncalled for, and a few other doozies “someone’s father”, and “a drunk dad at somebody’s wedding”. Taylor was a pro, smiled, and/or laughed, and just let it slide off his back. I found that to be very classy and mature. Kill ’em with kindness.

    Slimon definitely has issues in general, and he decided he could just use his so-called “power” to talk down to Taylor, and use him as his own personal punching bag. OOOH, Big Man! Talk about someone who needs to “keep it real”. There’s no checking that ego at the door.

    Get help, SLIMON, or better yet, GO BACK TO ENGLAND! Unfortunately, statements like these things actually makes the jerk smile on the inside, and outside, because people are talking about him, and he definitely craves the attention. How SAD!!! His displays are the main reason I don’t watch AI (with the exception of a TH appearance).

    His verbal ‘rubbish” provides NO entertainment value to me, and I’m sorry that they do for others. The man is a mess. I look forward to the day when the show is cancelled.

    Taylor isn’t perfect, just human, like most of us, warts and all.
    I think he would agree with that statement. Is that So bad?

    I think this line from “Heaven Knows” applies here, …”won’t you give me some slack?” How prophetic, …yes, indeed.

  7. Interesting topic and blog you have.
    Hmm I have no doubt Taylor’s a nice and genuine guy, he sure as heck isn’t perfect like some would want to think but he’s got a good head on his shoulders. He probably just wasn’t allowed to show his full self on American Idol, such as the cussing. Could you imagine if he had done that on the show? Families would flip. This is Fox we’re talking about, people.
    I do agree about the leaning and the soul patrol though, it was a bit too much sometimes. Lmao but hey he was still the one that stood out, over anyone else in that competition. Only problem is people didn’t want to take him seriously and the bashing from AI people ever since he won, hasn’t helped either. Good thing he’s dropping the ‘soul patrol’ thing though it seems.
    Innocent, heck no. He’s been around the block more than a couple of times I would imagine. I can’t believe some thought in the beginning that he was still a virgin, that one made me laugh when people started making those assumptions. Uh hello, he’s a grown man who spent 10 years in bars and clubs?

    As for feeling the music, I think he does put his heart and passion into it. Maybe not all the time, but he’s definitely got a love for music; it’s his mistress basically. Early Works is amazing, he really sets himself free on that one. Have to agree on The Distance though, there were some times in a couple of songs where he could’ve let himself go a little more, its like it was bottling up. Nonetheless its a good CD and needs to be heard out there.
    Maybe You Should is lyrically beautiful, all around beautiful really.

  8. taylorfan06 Says:

    To be a fan or NOT to be a fan that is the question?

    One more question tonight: Do other artists get this much grief?

  9. taylorfan06, gonna have to agree on some remarks Simon has said. The ‘drunk’ thing especially made me go WTF the first time I saw that on TV. Hicks has taken negative comments well though instead of being immature in return, so that definitely earns more of my respect.

  10. taylorfan06 Says:

    taylorfan06, gonna have to agree on some remarks Simon has said.

    In regard to Taylor, Christa?

  11. Sorry, I worded that wrong. Lol its the middle of the night. What I meant is I agree with you. Simon’s remarks were completely unnecessary. Taylor’s always handled negative comments in a mature manner instead of starting a celeb feud like you see in those magazines.
    Back and forth comments like that-
    1. Are LOL worthy.
    2. make the celebs involved in the attacking look like the spoiled arses they are.

    Glad Hicks stays out of that though.

  12. Interesting question…and right now I can’t get into it. Real life calls. But I’ll be back later to answer.

  13. casualfan Says:

    Great blog IAG and you pose interesting thoughts. For me at least, I have come to the conclusion that Taylor is a simple guy but with complicated thoughts. I think he uses music as a way of expressing all the pain and sorrow he’s endured in his life and is now using it as a healing tool to move on and become the person that he’s been wanting to become. His music style is going to change because he is changing which is a good thing.

    I find that some continue to have the burning desire to know what makes Taylor tic. No one will ever know that and to continue on analzying his music takes away from what he gives us

  14. casualfan Says:

    I think they do.

  15. hicksaholic Says:

    Regarding the comparisons between TD and TH versus EW and UTR I wonder if the difference he in the early days the expectations were not high at least not for anyone but him. With the later albums there is so much scrutiny and so many others waiting to see if he succeeds. I wonder if this somehow translates into the feeling of the songs. I agree that regardless of how good the songs are that overall he is feeling the music more in his earlier albums. Of course they were pretty much recorded live at least EW was and that is where Taylor excels. Notable exceptions in the last two albums that are delivered with a lot of feeling are TRP. MYS and IAOK. Those songs seem to be easier to interpret than others that are less obvious in their meanings, at least to me anyway.
    Maybe when he was younger he just did whatever HE felt on the songs and now he has 10 other people telling him what to do and how to do it.

  16. Smokeyden Says:

    Sure Taylor tried to win our hearts as well as our votes when he was on AI. He was trying to win! I don’t get why some feel he isn’t genuine though. Taylor seems very genuine to me. From the interactions I’ve had with Taylor, he was very nice, but VERY shy. Sometimes shy can be misconstrued as pompous.

  17. jerseyirish Says:

    Lets face it folks we all have our home personna and how we act in public, he is no different. He showed us what he wanted us to see, however, I truley believe he is just a nice genuine person. No one could carry a game like that for this long.

    As far as his music again he creates how he feels at the time, sometimes you got it sometimes its just not there. I believe he put his heart and soul into The Distance and he is proud of the finished product.


  18. brightlite Says:

    It’s all about image in my opinion. The guy that walked into Idol, and said “I have a voice…” that was Taylor. The guy that flinched when he sat next to some contestant or stranger, as she nervously rocked in her chair, that was Taylor. He is the guy that dances goofy, and he need not try to dance cool, he doesn’t dance cool, he just doesn’t…that isn’t Taylor. He is what he was before Idol only he now has fancier clothes, prettier women, and perhaps a bigger bankroll…but those things do not make the man. He is what he was born to be, a bit sad, a lot angry, very mobile, somewhat confused, mostly artistic but still manly, adjustable, most importantly he is a survivor. He is what he says he is, only there are multiple sides of him and at any given time you are seeing a side which you may or may not recognize. I have said this before, he changes but it is all to suit the environment.
    Is there more in there? More music? More creation? Absolutely, positively yes with the right environment. He gets out of his element at times, forgets what side of him has the potential for creation, loses sight of his self, and ends up in a robotic mode, just dancing and singing but not “feeling” and “emoting.” Robotic Taylor? Danger Will Rogers….danger.
    Got to go shopping now and pick up some good fodd for the week.

    Sorry OFF TOPIC….
    Today is my BIG breakfast day…
    Sweet ham, sausage, bacon, and sirloins with a side of eggs cooked anyway the kids like, and a choice of pancakes, either orange cranberry, apple walnut, or chocolate chip drizzled with maple walnut dressing. I also make corn muffins and biscuits, homemade banana bread, that I baked last night. This is my way of starting the week! It is Sunday and the Lord made this day for fresh starts, new beginnings, and BIG breakfast’s. My students know all about my Sunday brunches, and I am inviting and will most likely have 15 or 20 seniors at my house come June for a “senior breakfast.” Also, I play music and encourage the kids to explore time on the guitar, piano, and drums while I cook and clean and server this wonderful meal. It is my way of having Thanksgiving every week, now I have to get out and get the rest of the ingredients I still need.
    Be well.

  19. I would love to know exactly how much input Taylor had in the songs he has writing credits for. WDB was written by a friend of his (there was an article about that), but I assume he has writing credits on it for the music. He probably tweaked the arrangement.

    Since we all love MYS, I’d especially love to know if how much of that song came from Taylor. He had help on that song from the same man who wrote Bonnie Raitt’s ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’, and I hear echoes of that song in the music, so I’m assuming that’s where the ‘help’ came from.

    I guess it doesn’t really matter. We know Taylor can write good music, he wrote everything on “Early Works.” I’m just a nerd that way. When I love a song I like to know who I can thank for it.

  20. I agree that Taylor gets scrutinized too much. I mean, some fans notice when he has a new jacket, others have memorized the freckles on his face. That would freak me out. But I’m about to be guilty of over-analyzing him myself. But I have to bring this up.

    A lot of fans describe Taylor as shy, but I’m not sure I buy it. How could a shy person “find the guy who owns the bar” so he could nail down a time to play his music? I’M shy. I could never go track down the owner of a bar and talk him into letting me play.

    As for all you shy people out there, I would love to organize a support group, have meetings, host rallies but I can’t. You know why. (You GET me.) I’m too shy. I’m gonna go hide in a corner now.

  21. and he really put a lot of emphasis (energy) on technical quality.

  22. jerseyirish Says:

    CAryl, I also am shy, and could never imagine myself doing that also. But on the other hand, my son is also shy, but if it is something he wants he will go for it and not let anything stand in his way. So I guess there are all different levels of shyness.


  23. I never perceived him as being shy. More like humble? Not the kind of humble with downcast eyes and no self-esteem. I’m watching the “Rehearsal” videos this morning. I see confidence but not arrogance. On AI I liked him when he sang and didn’t mind at all his dancing and theatrics DURING the songs. I actually loved it. I thought he was expressing the music and having some fun. He picked really good songs and performed most of them very well IMO. But I turn off the videos after the singing ends. I like the talking (non-singing) Taylor more in the Rehearsal and live concert videos. He’s cool, confident, non-spastic. LOL And wow, those videos are SO good!

    I see him in some of these TV appearances lately as being a little nervous and uncomfortable. Who wouldn’t be? I was once asked a question by a reporter at a rally and filmed, and I can’t describe how it makes you feel. It’s really hard to relax and just be yourself. You worry that your words are going to come out wrong or sound stupid and that just makes expressing yourself even more difficult. He’s getting better at it.

  24. I also agree that he is over-analyzed (freckles???) and that I’m overdoing it myself lately. Not about his clothes and bodily imperfections (or perfections 🙂 ) but his music and “who he is.” I’m just a little obsessed right now because I’ve discovered all this new music and video etc. I’ve never been involved in fandom, and I’m a bit intrigued about why I’m getting so drawn into it now. Where does being a supportive fan, and having an interest, cross over into obsession? Maybe obsession is inherent in fandom in the first place.

  25. Welcome to our world! We’ve all been trying to figure out the fascination since we hopped on board. I have a scientific theory about it that you might enjoy. (Here she goes again, linking to her blog!)

    Itsallgrey will just have to forgive me once again. If rajrae is new she’s got to learn what I uncovered in my investigation:

  26. 1. Concerning your first topic about the media ban: I guess the ban was lifted because the CD was released. I think he said something to that effect somewhere.

    2. Concerning topic 2 about Tayor creating a personna for AI: Sure, I think that’s true to a certain degree. Remember during his audition, he was slightly snarky with Simon when he said, (something like) “I think maybe some people don’t know who Sam Cooke is.”

    But after getting the golden ticket to Hollywood, I get the impression he went home and thought about the best way to present himself. He never talked back again. I don’t think he was acting, I think he just chose to show the more polite, upbeat, friendly side of his personality on TV. I’m cool with that.

    Unfortunately, some of the people he won over with that squeaky clean image fell by the wayside as other sides of his personality were revealed. He’s not a choir boy, he’s not always charming and friendly. But, who is?

    I was happy to see some complexity in his personality after AI. It’s way more interesting and shows that he has that deeper side that you need to be a real artist.

  27. jerseyirish Says:

    rajrae, Agree the first time I had to give a presentation at work was before an audience of 500. I was so nervous my whole body was shaking, they gave me a couple of shots and sent me out. Took a few minutes to calm down but once I did everything went smoothly. I couldn’t imagine dealing with the kind of media entainers have to.


  28. Good stuff, Caryl…you may be on to something! Rajae, if you’re interested, I’ve written a bit about fanatacism/obsession in relation to online fan communities. It’s an interesting and complex topic, indeed!

  29. casualfan Says:

    I totally agree Smokeyden with him being shy. I had the chance to speak with him for the first time up close and personal when he was here in LA. He was very, very cautious and extremely shy. I was able to make him laugh which broke the ice. Contrary to what my friends will tell everyone, I’m VERY shy and many times it comes across as being pompous. Trust issues, as least for me play a huge role in that attitude. Taylor is a hard person to “get” but once one gets him, it’s not that hard to figure out the rest. 😉

  30. casualfan Says:

    Amen JI and very well said. 😉

  31. taylorfan06 Says:

    I just have to say caryl, it was “Joe Cocker”, not SC.

    I pains me to quote Simon, but I have to agree with him on his early take on Taylor that “he’s interesting.” He remains that way to me still to this day.
    There is also a compelling curiosity about how his career will unfold. He has a definite talent there that I hope will continue because I’ve really enjoyed the ride so far that I that I don’t want to end any time soon.

    I remember watching Taylor when he performed on Season 5 Idol (the only season I watched, even as a late arrival, thanks to a friend), and I have to say that he had such a magnetism that pulled me in week after week. He was the reason I was watching. There was such a sense of fun, and focus in his performances.

    I just remember looking forward to the show every Tuesday to see what he would be doing. He always entertained me. There were only a few weeks when I worried that he might not have shown his best. (You may know the weeks I’m talking about.) Well, we do know that he was never in jeopardy, and I feel that it was because many, many others viewed him the same way as I did. Thank God for having this “interesting” guy came into our homes and has added something good to our lives.

  32. jerseyirish Says:

    wd2, Great article, and so true how the internet has changed following an artist’s career, thanks for posting.


  33. casualfan Says:

    LOL rajrae, When you have been to at least 50 concerts, 50 m&g’s, rolled in the sheets in the room that he checked out of after bribing the maid to let you in, attaching a gps unit under his bus, crawling under the merch table at the venues in hopes of sneaking in to meet him (even though you had dozens of m&g’s already), hand him your resume hoping that he will hire you, moving to his hometown in order to be next to him, his friends, his family….then I would venture to say that you have crossed over into the world of obsession….LOL!

  34. taylorfan06 Says:

    cf, I’m curious what you said that made him laugh.

    When I’ve met him, I always wanted to make him laugh (because i love that great smile of his), but once he’s right in front of me I get nervous and lose my thought. He’s always been gracious in our meetings, and it’s exciting, but the next time I hope I can have my “ice breaker”. I’ll have to keep you posted.

  35. You’re right!! He DID say Joe Cocker. Thanks. 🙂

  36. Taylor in my opinion will never please everyone. I hope he doesn’t try to. When he is being goofy, having fun, the usual comments come out. He will never be taken serious acting like that. He has to be serious before he can be considered a serious muscian. WTF?

    Then when the serious side comes out, he’s considered boring, snobish. Oh he must be arrogant.

    Face it… the man can’t win. Taylor is who Taylor is. I personally can’t tell you how he is in real life.. I don’t know him.

    The only thing I know was that the fun loving, entertainer is what drew me in.

    I would think Taylor acts according to what the situation is. Isn’t that pretty much what most people do?

  37. LOL Casual, I would call that delusional, psychotic, in total la-la land. Right now I have to admit I’m a bit obsessed because I’m spending WAY too much time watching, listening, reading, writing everything TH. But I AM at a point where I have a lot of free time for a short while. I guess I’m just choosing to do this instead of finding something else to fill my day. But I am a bit worried about myself. I’m certainly enjoying it though. 😉

  38. jerseyirish Says:

    Trixie, Well said, he is no different then anyone else, we all act acordingly to the situation we are in.


  39. brightlite Says:

    I don’t get nervous in front of crowds or in front of an audience. I grew up on stages and in front of the camera, so I am a born entertainer. I guess it spills over into teaching as I am very comfortable speaking and hold on to the attention of my audience (my classes.) I think Taylor is a born entertainer and he is very comfortable in front of the camera or on stage, in fact he is at his best on stage, but if he has to speak it may be difficukt since he doesn’t express himself that well through words, but mainly through song. I understand that really, as I express myself less through words verbally and more through writing and through body language which comes naturally to me. Communication comes in many forms, and there are many ways we communicate non-verbally which some may pick up on while others just don’t see it. I see the non-verbal and ignore the verbal, and that is how I get my messages and get my message across. I think words are merely a form of sense manifestation…we can all talk but it really isn’t always a abject form of truth, it has its basis in what we want others to believe. The real truth is in what we feel and therefore what comes across on our faces, in our eyes, and in our gross motor presentation. I am very good at deciphering that, and pay little attention to words. Since Taylor is becoming skilled at acting, it is harder to read him now, so I have stopped trying. It isn’t fun anymore I guess to figure him out, who cares really what he feels or thinks, he is not a family member…he is an entertainer, a person who puts music out for a living, and frankly it isn’t our jobs to delve into his personality to see what makes him tic. That is the job of his significant other, or his psychiatrist, or perhaps BillWill. I used to “care” what he felt but like Caryl said a few threads back, I am not interested in his happiness, just like he is not interested in mine, that is because he doesn’t know me or any of us. Let’s be real here and understand that this thread and all of these threads are attempts to understand OURSELVES and not Taylor. We can no more understand someone that we don’t know by posting here, so in truth we are just all here to vent, release, get feedback, and socialize…but we will never gain any more insight in to Mr. Hicks than we had before.
    This is my opinion, as I am sure you all already know. I just think it s funny how we all sit here and type away until our knuckles hurt, and in the end we know nothing more about him, and interestingly we know precious little of own selves in the process.
    Just a thought. Don’t mean to berate or criticize the blog, the thread or the posters here, but unless Taylor himself appears, which he won’t ever, then this is all speculation and imagination, as fanciful and as foretelling as the ruines.
    I loved my breakfast, as did the kids. I made Eggs Benedict today, and it was a hit!

  40. A couple of thoughts on the topics in this thread:

    1. Why do we analyze Hicks’ music/choices, etc. Speaking for myself:

    a. Partly old habit. I first heard him doing stuff that was not plausibly his real choice: song snippets on AI. So, my early habit was to speculate about what the real music would be, based in part on his old music and what he’d say in the press, as well on his AI performances. In the context of a contest, I’d evaluate those performances also on whether I thought they were effective for other people. So, absolutely not the normal way to listen to music, which is just to consult my own taste and not think twice about ignoring it if it’s not what I wanted or hoped for.

    b. But mainly, I analyze when I don’t like what I’m hearing. When I hear something I really like (like Right Place on the Roxy tapes), I just enjoy. When I hear something I don’t (like the new album), I start wondering why and picking it apart. The reasons for analyzing instead of ignoring are the same as above. But the bottom line for me, if the music is actually music I like, I don’t analyze, I just enjoy. I gave up caring about whether other people liked his music after he won(though I did want other people to know about him, in case they’d like his music). My next task is to give up caring about whether I like the music, to just like it or not, as I do with any other artist.

    2. Why is the material on Distance kind of weak, emotionally?

    a. In other words: Why can’t he write emotionally satistfying music, as he sometimes did before?My take: he’s not much of a songwriter. He has occasional bursts of inspiration, but this isn’t something that pours out of him. That’s not a big criticism. There’s a lot of literate, musically aware, emotionally complex people in the room right now. How many of us can write a decent song? Not me, for sure. Someone up-thread said he recognizes good music. I agree, at least when he’s looking at other people’s music. Does he recognize it in himself? I have no clue. But I personally feel he could have chosen better music for this CD. He talks so much of songwriting, that I do wonder if his regard for songwriters might lead him to want originals on his album, even at the cost of choosing inferior material.

    b. Regardless of his comments about this being who he really is as an artist, maybe that’s not completely true. For one thing, there’s certainly a big gap between the sound of the album and the sound of his live performances. For another, it stands to reason that he’s also considering what might sell. I can’t say about IYT, but that was certainly true on UTR and TH, so I’d imagine it’s also true on the Distance.

    3. Is he who he seems to be ……

    a. I have no clue, but just wanted to point out that the most normal, usual, expected thing would be for all public appearances to be assumed to be “acts”, in the sense that they are performances for fans, in some sense. This includes actual performances of music, as well as interviews, “behind the scenes” shots on AI and elsewhere, meet and greets, what he said in the book he “wrote”, standing on public streets in view of press and/or fans, etc. People can guess away, if it’s fun for them, but it makes no sense to assume our guesses are true.

    b. …. and does that explain anything one way or the other about the music?

    No. Some random performance may actually be conveying emotion he feels at the time, but most will not, and it’s not likely that fans will ususally know which ones are which. It’s just not logical. Usually, the affect will be part of a performance, an act. Otherwise, concerts would have no emotional range, they’d be all giddy when he’s giddy or depressed when he’s depressed. Whatever explains the huge difference in emotional impact of some performance vs. others (or live vs. recorded), I think it’s almost always a professional answer, not a personal one. It comes down to some mix of skill and choice: ability to tap what it takes to convey emotion, choice to do so.

  41. taylorfan06 Says:

    I totally agree! Good call.

  42. 1. I don’t understand why so many in the fan base seem to believe that IYT and UTR are some sort of masterpieces that all of Taylor’s more recent efforts have failed to match, because its not the case. Both of those CDs are quite good, but they are no where near being the works of genius that some of you think they are. “Somehow ” is a good song, but there is nothing spectacularly poetic about the lyric, its actually pretty awkward in spots. The fact that these songs are part of the reason that you grew to love Taylor, does not make them great, it just gives you a sentimental attachment to them. To expect Taylor to remain mired in the thoughts and ideas and sounds he created when he was nineteen or twenty, just because you like them is unrealistic. Taylor is growing and changing just like all of us do over the course of our lifetime. Its only logical that his music would change with him. Maybe the fan base should try being less stuck in the past and be more willing to change with him
    2. The Distance is totally and completely his “baby”. When someone says that they don’t think you can find Taylor in one of the songs, it seems to me what they really should say is that they don’t find who they think he is in the song. He wrote most of them-at least in part, he picked them for the CD, he sang them the way he wanted, they were mixed to sound the way he wanted them to sound, they represent him as an artist at the moment in time he created them. He is in them all. Him, not the person you think he is, or the person you want him to be, HIM.
    3.Taylor is going to reveal(or not) as much or as little of himself as he feels comfortable with. Why can’t his fans just appreciate what he offers them in his music without bemoaning the fact that he hasn’t opened up enough of his soul for them? It seems that no matter how much of himself he gives, there are those who are not satisfied and want more. This speaks, in my opinion, more to the neediness of the people listening than to some lack in Taylor.
    4. We all have a persona we display in public situations. This persona is different than who we are when we are in a place where we feel safe, comfortable, and totally able to be ourselves. No one acts the same with strangers as they do with their friends and family who love them. Taylor is no different than the rest of us. Its not a matter of being fake or phony, its just being human. We all know we have faults and flaws, we don’t usually want the whole world to see them. Especially not on a national TV show when we are fighting for a career we desperately want and need.
    5. Taylor Hicks is, in my opinion, incapable of giving any less than all he has in a live performance. Some performances may be better than others, but I have no doubt that he is putting all of himself into each and every one of them. Once again, maybe the problem is with the unrealistic expectations of some of the audience. He isn’t superhuman, he has good and bad days like everyone else. On any given day he is probably as much “into the music” as he is capable of being at that moment.

    My question to all of you is this, “why does it have to be such a big deal?”, why can’t Taylor’s fans just enjoy who he is and the music that he gives them without constantly feeling the need to pick apart, question and criticize everything he does? Why is it that no matter what he gives us, some of us always seem to feel that it isn’t enough? And shouldn’t we be questioning ourselves? What is lacking in us that we never seem to be satisfied with what he gives us and why do we always seem to feel we are entitled to more ? And if we feel its legitimate to expose him to this level of scrutiny, analysis, and criticism, shouldn’t we be willing to look just as closely at ourselves?

    Rant over.

  43. casualfan Says:

    I said this up the thread.

  44. jerseyirish Says:

    msmzup, Very well said, I said about the same thing in Dec/Jan, he is not the same as he was when those songs were written, he has grown as we all do. I believe TD is truley a work of who is today, and I am loving it. None of us would want our private lives a media blitz neither does he, I just sit back and enjoy the music he puts out.


  45. casualfan Says:

    I think most of his music pre-Idol was disjointed. That was the attraction for me because it reflected what he felt in his heart at the time. Taylor’s music is going to change because he’s changing as I have said. I want to grow with Taylor as he grows as a musician and enjoy what he has to give. For me at least, that’s “getting” him.

  46. casualfan Says:

    I also want to add that I spoke with a dear friend today who use to be a true-blue die hard fan of Taylor Hicks. She told me that she is just not into his music anymore because she wants him as he was pre-Idol. I told her to listen again to his new music and give it a chance. As you have said, people who are looking for the “old” Taylor will never be satisified with any of his new music because it’s not who he is any longer.

    Ok, my rant is over…carry on

  47. Probably so, I mostly skimmed the comments, didn’t plan on making any myself. Then I decided to indulge myself in a little rant about some stuff thats been on my mind1

  48. Personally after listening to the songs Taylor picked when he did his DJ gig it really helped me see what formed his musical tastes. The songs on the Distance seem to fit his taste. So, IMO this CD is Taylor. Some of the songs he did on his DJ stent I liked, others I didn’t care for. It’s the same for me with his CD’s there are just some songs I don’t care for on all his CD’s. However most of the songs I do like so, I’ll keep buying.

  49. Great post! Thank you.

  50. Very well said! Thanks for the insight.

  51. I’m not going to get into a whole discussion about AI, but I did want to respond to your Simon Cowell attack. What’s interesting about Simon is that he is usually right. Even if you don’t want to admit it, he’s usually right. And he obviously knows a thing or two about selling music, considering how successful he is at it.

    And Taylor isn’t perfect. Nobody is. But I really don’t think that there is anything wrong with talking about his career and his music. If you don’t like the discussion here, you can go to any other blog/board where only great things are allowed about Taylor. Here, I am just trying to keep it real.

  52. I don’t understand why people come on this blog and ask the other posters why they need to pick Taylor apart. Nobody is picking Taylor apart, we are discussing him as fans. No, we’re not discussing how good his ass looked in that pair of jeans, or how hot he looked in that shirt (which I’ve done many, many times, so I’m not calling anybody out on that, for sure)…we’re discussing his career and his music. Nobody is calling Taylor names, nobody is accusing him of plagiarizing something. We’re just discussing how he got to where he is now, what has changed about him, what we think might work. No, I’m sure Taylor doesn’t read here, and it doesn’t really matter if he did. It’s just a chance to talk music with other Taylor fans. That’s all. We’re not curing cancer. No need to get upset.

    I don’t understand why people come to read this blog if all they do is get pissed off reading it. I’m glad that people do, but I just don’t get this attitude that certain people have regarding what should or should not be said about Taylor.

    And I have to disagree with people who said Taylor is just like us. No, he’s not, unless you are somebody who goes on television and sings the National Anthem at football games. He is an entertainer/musician who lives and dies with the state of his fandom. Obviously, by looking at cd sales, the state of the fandom isn’t great. Whether or not you would like to analyze yourself this closely is up to you. But, because he is a public figure, he is up for scrutiny.

  53. brightlite Says:

    IAG: you wrote: I’m not faulting him for that. He did what he had to do. But because he made that choice to “fool” his audience, he had to retain that persona.

    Do you actually know Taylor Hicks? I mean do you know that this is true? I ask because you make a very big assumption here that What and who Taylor was on Idol was not who he truly is…and that means that he WAS acting then? I am unsure just hoe to take your comment. Are you calling him a fake now? Are you calling him a fake then? Are you calling him something based on your own conjecture and assumptions? That is why I ask do you know him personally because if you don’t then you cannot just make a blanket statement like I quoted up there, and assume he was being something he’s not. I think Taylor was and is what he wants to be at any given moment, not something fake or ingenuine but exactly what his audience wants or calls for. I don’t think that is being anything but an entertainer and if he departs from that, well then he is just being his chameleon like self, and that will not change ever, IMHO.
    Please preface your posts with IMO or something that discounts your remarks as you sound presumptuous tothe point of actually being on the inside of Taylor’s circle, and we all know you aren’t any more than any of us are.

  54. brightlite Says:

    Agree with what you wrote. Thanks.

  55. No, BL, I don’t know Taylor any more than you do.

    But I think I’m pretty clear that this blog and anything I post in it is my opinion. Isn’t that the point?

  56. No one said they were pissed off, or tried to tell you what you could or could not say, I was just questioning what motivates the constant need to dissect and criticize this man’s every move.
    And Taylor is just like us, he just happens to have a career that puts him in the public eye. It doesn’t make him less human or less deserving of the sort of treatment that we would expect for ourselves.
    Taylor seems to be happy, and he seems to be at peace with his career path and his life. I don’t see any signs that he is less confident in his talent or his music than he was pre-Idol. In fact, he seems extremely confident and satisfied with his abilities and especially with the music on this CD. This is him, who he wants to be ,at least at this moment in his life. I suppose I just don’t get why his fans aren’t happier for him. Why do you seem to need him to be what and who you want him to be? And why do you get so defensive when someone asks the question?

  57. jerseyirish Says:

    msmxup, Again totally agree with what you say, his career makes him different then us, but as people he is no different.


  58. brightlite Says:

    Yeah kinda, but I guess that is why you get so much hate mailo as you wrote before, and I have not been the one send it your way, mind you.
    But it does almost appear as if you know him, or if you don’t then what you write is to be taken as lightly as possible, as it may sound like you KNOW but indeed you are as clueless as the rest of us.
    No harm done…just wondering if you knew Taylor before Idol as in when he lived and traveled Bama and surrounding towns…You sound sometimes like you have some idea of who he was before he hit the “big time” and I was just curious that’s all.
    Be well.

  59. brightlite Says:

    I agree again here.
    Why do people assume Taylor was “fooling” the public on AI. Did it ever occur to people who hold that idea to be true, that Taylor was living in the moment and was enjoying it to the point of bubbling over with enthusiasm on national TV. He was having a blast! Unless you have been on stage, in front of crwods, heard thunderous applause, recieved accolades, special star treatment, been asked for your autograph, had people stop as you walk by and part like the red sea when you approach, watch as the aufdience remains standing until you depart the stage, hear the murmur in the crowd after you lesve…unless you know what it’s like to see your name in lights, feel the spotlight burning down on you like a beacon…unless you have had agents call you and ask to represent you, and allow them to be your booking agent, or unless you have felt the total happiness inside that results from giving the performance of your life or KNOWING you are about to give one because you just feel so fucking ON at that moment…then you don’t know or understand what it means to be an entertainer.
    He was in his element for the first time possibly. He had on Idol a huge audience, millions of people, and they approved of him….my God can you not understand what that did to him…he was in heaven. It was not put on, far from it, it was just him living in the moment soaking it all up, being the star that he is.
    I saw nothing fake or put on, I saw a man who loves an audience, just lap it up and then bask in it all.
    He wasn’t fooling me. I knew when I saw him what it was, he was thrilled to be there, thrilled to have the approval, and thrilled to be able to showcase his talents. That is what I saw, and as a person who understand entertainment as I do, I know what I see. But it is just an opinion.

  60. spinshack Says:

    Nice theory of thought Bright and really on target. Wish I’d been around for the Eggs Benedict.

    You go gal. 😉

  61. spinshack Says:

    “why does it have to be such a big deal?”
    Well, not speaking for anyone but myself it’s a big deal for a few reasons. Since you’re numbering and that seems the course of the thread:

    1.) When he hit Idol he emitted a certain degree of difference, of artistry of going to really change things in music one day; he even set that as a goal.

    2.) He shows such flashes of brilliance that shine through succinctly and beautifully at times that I just want more of that. I.E.: his cover of IAoK.

  62. spinshack Says:

    I admire your devotion and patience. I’m just not that advanced apparently as a human. lol

  63. spinshack Says:

    Hell, Grey just fuck the hate mail – if folks don’t like it want to be snide on other sites about you so the Hell what?

    Man, just do what you do and be complete in that. Those who want rainbows and unicorns can just go run with that thought process.

    Bright all I will say is Grey’s been around the Hicksian block a time or two. LOL

    It’s all speculative discussion and well, you know I admire anyone with the huevos to stand tall and say what they think no matter the P.C. moment.

    Cheers Grey.

  64. casualfan Says:

    BL, I don’t think that’s what Grey is implying. But she was a mod on one of his fan boards AND she has seen him at shows, etc. I think she has a pretty good insight on Taylor and I appreciate what she has to say. We all have our idea’s on Taylor and we all have the right to an opinion. 😉

  65. casualfan Says:

    BL, With all due respect you have made some pretty big assumptions yourself recently and in the past. I think we all have.

  66. casualfan Says:

    People hate on Simon but I like him. I don’t always agree with his dry sense of humor and his rudeness, but I understand where he’s coming from and see alot of what he says as truth. I watched an autobiography on the man a few months ago and really enjoyed what I saw. He’s actually a very down to earth person and very nice.

    Simon is a pussy cat compared to the music industry as a whole. I think he is trying to give these kids a dose of the reality they will be facing.

    Please don’t throw stones at me. This is just my opinions based on my observation.

  67. casualfan Says:

    If you are talking to me Spin….what can I say? I was reborn into Taylor Christianity after seeing him live again at The Roxy and then speaking with him one on one the next day. He clarified, verified and simplified many things for me.

    Still not into the thud factor and may not always agree with what he does, but he’s a mighty awesome Muse for me and my work.;)

  68. “Taylor in my opinion will never please everyone. I hope he doesn’t try to.”

    See, now I completely disagree with that. I think he’s trying too hard to please EVERYONE. I feel like his CD is composed of songs from every genre simply to make everybody else happy. So he can get air time on country, rock, adult, pop…blah blah blah…radio. Instead of making an album that makes me say “Damn. He really put himself into that album.” I find myself saying “Damn. He’s really selling out.” *shrugs* I know everyone seems to love this album…and for the most part it is pretty good….but I still don’t find myself getting lost in the song, lost in the vocals, or lost in the lyrics. It’s generic, in my eyes.

    “The only thing I know was that the fun loving, entertainer is what drew me in. “

    Ditto here. But it was also the way he was able to make me FEEL a song. Like YASB, for example. Or Something. Performances like those are what made me buy a ticket to his post Idol concerts…..I just wish I got that same feeling from his album. *sigh*

  69. Grey said “I don’t understand why people come on this blog and ask the other posters why they need to pick Taylor apart. Nobody is picking Taylor apart, we are discussing him as fans….. Nobody is calling Taylor names, nobody is accusing him of plagiarizing something. We’re just discussing how he got to where he is now, what has changed about him, what we think might work…… I don’t understand why people come to read this blog if all they do is get pissed off reading it. I’m glad that people do, but I just don’t get this attitude that certain people have regarding what should or should not be said about Taylor.”

    I think it’s because some people think of a TRUE fan as being like a cheerleader, or that we should have blind adoration for him and never say anything negative at all. We can’t “analyze” him unless it’s all positive. I liked your description better – “We’re just discussing him as fans.” “Analyzing” has a more negative connotation. Like “picking apart.” Discuss is better. (Perhaps we get too analytical in our discussions? LOL ) Face it, we DON’T know him, so all we can discuss is what we see of him in public and in his music. We’ll never really know him but I think it’s OK to try to understand him through his music. That’s why he makes it in the first place, isn’t’ it? At least partly? I think he WANTS us to know him that way, or understand him a little, and not ONLY to entertain us? He’s saying “this is what I like and want to share with you.” And he SURELY does entertain us with it too. Yes, I’m VERY entertained. 😀 As a fan I certainly do want to encourage him and cheer him on, and there are places to do that. But I don’t go for doing it blindly or being unrealistic about stuff.

  70. OT- Listening to some Joe Cocker tonight. Was wondering why Randy picked “You Are So Beautiful” over “With a Little Help From My Friends but then realized he would have had to change the lyrics. Could you see good boy Taylor singing about how he gets “high with a little help from his friends” on a family show in front of 50 million people? Shocking! I do hope we see a little bit of “bad” Taylor – or more edgy Taylor I should say – if he goes on. I so want younger America to see that side of him. I think they would go wild. They don’t hear it on the radio, and this could be a big chance for him to gain tons of new, younger fans. Like someone said yesterday or whenever, he’s probably not going to attract teens but I think a lot of the young adult range would really like several of the songs on TD.

  71. brightlite Says:

    My point exactly so state that it is an opinion, especially since the remark was derogatory in my opinion. She called him a fake in so many words.
    I just think she needs to preface her statements even if this is her blog.
    I just think I have spent way too much time here the past two days, and I have had my lion’s fill for the moment.
    I just need to step back before I piss off someone. I really don’t like to do that but lately I am not caring if I do or not, it must be symptom of my “changes.”
    I am not the same as I was even a month ago I think, as NFF has it’s price, that being you trade in some sugar for some salt. It useful to throw on the wounds when you want to beat yourself up for all the dumb mistakes you have made.
    I just keep having faith that some day I will understand the changes I am going through, and maybe in some small measure I can actually find peace in that outcome.
    Be well all.
    See you all around sometime.

  72. I hate to be negative, but we’re being honest here so…I played SMB for my 18 year old, guitar-playing, music-savvy son. I expected him to like it, but he said, “Yeah, he obviously knows what he’s doing, but there’s nothing special about him.” 😦

  73. taylorfan06 Says:

    You’ll have to ask iag.

    I TOTALLY connect with your summation. More power to you.

  74. taylorfan06 Says:

    THANK YOU, BL. You summed up my previous post perfectly. Can iag be cleared in his thought? iag, the floor is yours.

  75. taylorfan06 Says:

    Not really iag, with all due respect. Your points are not really clear, and are just mere speculation which really isn’t fair to Taylor who’s not here to defend himself.

  76. Taylor is a great live performer, but I don’t think he is a great recording artist, at least not yet. I don’t think he has quite figured out how to translate what he does live into the recorded format. This CD was better, but it still doesn’t really capture what he is capable of in a live setting. Maybe he never will, maybe he needs the energy of a live audience to perform at his best. This isn’t unusual really. Some artists are great on recordings, but really suck in a live setting. For some, like Taylor, their brilliance is live performing.
    I deal on a daily basis with a lot of “music savy” teenagers and I think most of what they find special isn’t very good! They listen to a lot of indy stuff, most of which I think is a total waste of time! Thats another thing I don’t understand about a lot of Taylor’s fan base, why they feel the need to have someone else validate their opinion. I just like what I like, it doesn’t really matter to me whether anyone else likes it or not.
    Caryl, do you and your son usually agree about music?

  77. Did you backhand that boy? 😉 He just doesn’t want to admit he likes something his mother likes. Seriously, I think you did well to even get him to listen to it. I can’t get mine to at all.

    He might like it if he listened a few more times. What kind of guitar does he play – I mean what style of music? Is he familiar with Southern-Rock? Did he listen on a good stereo? It may not be for him but I think there IS an audience for many of the songs. The problem is the songs aren’t not being heard by enough people. That’s why they (artists) sometimes sell their souls to the demon record company suits so they can get their music heard. I don’t want him to loose his shirt but I would rather this way than have Taylor a virtual slave of those vultures. I would not be the least bit surprised if there was some behind-the-scenes working against him. He really is promoting himself in a very creative way. They can’t possibly like innovative people coming up with ways for indie artists to actually sell their records without signing away their lives to them. I’m not a conspiracy nut, but it would not be out of character for them try to sabotage him. Set him up for an example. Did you see the article on BB today about that? It’s nauseating. That could be another whole blog topic.

  78. taylorfan06 Says:

    It’s not so much if Slimon is right or wrong, I find it more his smug demeanor, and superiority that really bothers me. He’s more rude than not when he really doesn’t need to be. I know it’s all for the cameras and to get people talking, but after 8 seasons (thank god I only saw one complete season), I think the schtick is old and tired (like Slimon).

    I will stay mum about his choppers…

  79. mxup, I really disagree! I think this is a fabulous recording. I don’t understand people saying that. It might not be the style of music some of us were expecting, but IMO it’s a really great album. He was not making a “live” album so why should it sound or feel like a concert? I think his vocals on the CD are better than a lot of the concert audio I’ve heard. His concerts are fabulous because of his energy and passion and the bands he pulls together are amazing, and of COURSE the singing. But I think his singing, technically, and the delivery of the lyrics, are much better in the recorded venue. I’m not trying to get into a debate “is he better live or on a record?” I think he’s great at both. I just can’t agree that this is some shoddy production or a poor performance by him. Everything BUT. The arrangements and instruments and engineering are all top-notch. He had really good, experienced people working with him on this, and you think you can tell the difference compared to ANY of his previous records. Sorry, that kind of upset me to read because I feel like this CD is fabulous and deserves recognition and accolades. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but I’m sorry to hear anyone say they think it is a sub-par performance.

    I do agree that kids, including mine, listen to a LOT of crap! If only I could get them to appreciate some Yes, or Cream, or Traffic, Pink Floyd, Boston, Lynard Skynard, Allman Brothers, Santana, CSN, Jackson Brown, James Taylor, Chicago, CCR, Billy Joel, Elton John, Faces, Little Feat, The Beatles, etc, etc etc….. (I’m sure dating myself aren’t I?) But it’s so sad that all this great music is being lost and they are filling their heads with so much head banging garbage and actually think it’s good. I know there is good music out there today and I’m trying to find it and try to take note when I hear them play something I like. I’ve been listening to LIMBO tonight and it’s great. Also found videos of Taylor’s Biloxi concert that have better sound than any I’ve heard, and really REALLY enjoyed watching those.

  80. taylorfan06 Says:

    Great post, rajrae. I like reading what you write and I’m in total agreement with you on this one. The CD gets an A in my book. Great vocals, production, and AMAZING sound!

  81. jerseyirish Says:

    I played the CD for my 22 year old and he was very impressed. He is just starting to appreciate soul/RB. I gave him one of the CD’s I had. He was playing it in the den along with his guitar, a bunch of his buddies stopped by and go into the CD also. With all the ordering I did wound up with 8 CD’s, he came up and relieved me of 5 more, they all liked what they heard. I bought them up to my computer and played the Roxy set for them, all were really into it. They wanted to know if Taylor would be doing any shows in our area, told them Grease would be in Philly in July didn’t know if he would have a shadow date, they all said if he does have one they would go with me. These guys are all between 22-28 years old.


  82. For “not being sure what points are being made”, you certainly have a great deal to say in response.

    Why would Mr. Hicks possibly need to “defend himself”? Is he being assaulted? No, it’s just a gathering of opinion. Is he being slandered? I’ve read much worse reviews in the mainstream press.

    Everyone is SO SERIOUS about Mr. Hicks and his music. It’s just a hobby, dudes. For real. I wish people felt this strongly about world hunger, genocide, and the environment.

  83. Oh thank god. It’s about time. HA!!

    IAG, this is a great blog full of good honest discussion. But like a dog with a bone, posters get uber-possessive about their opionion and it becomes their entire reason d’etre.

    Keep posting and voicing your truth. It’s one of the few places left in this fandom that welcomes reality.

  84. Is it a reflection on my parenting that whenever Mr. Hicks’ voice comes over the speakers that my kids groan and say “I can’t stand it!!!”? LOL!!

  85. ….when Taylor went on AI, I think he deliberately set out to become somebody that he wasn’t. He was the southern gentleman, the innocent performer. He was whatever was going to get him the most votes. I’m not faulting him for that. He did what he had to do. But because he made that choice to “fool” his audience, he had to retain that persona. Whenever he stepped out of that persona, he caught hell from his “fans”. So, in that aspect, no, I don’t think that music set him free.

    My thoughts, for what they’re worth:
    So, I don’t think he “deliberatly set out to become somebody that he wasn’t”, I do think that he definately emphasized his “good southern boy” image. All we see from any of the contestants on AI is what the camera shows us, in that, they ALL are portraying an image of themselves. What Mr. Hicks did was no different than any of the other contestants.

    I do agree that he had to live with the image he set out there. Proof enough was the debacle following the vids with him “dropping the F-bomb”, worse was his acknowledgement of the fallout and his subsequent apology.

    God help Adam Lambert. If he wins, it’s going to be oh-so-much-worse for him.

  86. Smokeyden Says:


    I disagree with your comment, “he need not try to dance cool, he doesn’t dance cool, he just doesn’t…”

    Huh? Have you seen Taylor live? (post Idol) He is HOT! He def can dance!

  87. Now that’s a positive sign! Hope those guys get out and spread the word. That’s the kind of fan base he needs to build and it proves my (our) belief that if Taylor would only be heard he could bring in that age bracket. Does your son understand the situation with indie artists and how crucial it is for people to support them? I talk to my kids till I’m blue in the face about sharing music and how it’s not fair to the artists and is hurting the people they should be trying to support if they like their stuff. It goes in one ear and out the other. It’s just SO rampant in the younger generation now that I don’t see how any artist can survive. I feel so strongly about it that when someone recently burned a copy of Melinda Doolittle’s new CD for me, I came home and paid for the thing online. I gifted my sister Yes We Can – refuse to just “give” anyone my music, especially new releases.

  88. I was about to say “Adam Lambeth!!!” before I read your last paragraph. That’s going to be a PR nightmare for AI before too long. If everyone got all bent out of shape for Taylor say “f…” (I missed all that.. wow*) then what do you think will happen when more people start seeing the Adam stuff that’s out there? It makes Taylor look like a choir boy.

    * I’m not saying”Wow, Taylor said the F-word?!!” I’m saying “Wow, people made a huge deal about it?” I never knew about that controversy.

  89. jerseyirish Says:

    rajrae, Yes my son does understand about indie labels. He took me out to dinner Sat night, hubby and daughter went to a Hockey game. The whole time we talked Taylor’s CD, cover bands, indie labels versus the big ones. He said he thinks eventually the indie labels may take over with the digital age upon us. He was out Sat night after we got back from dinner, had a few young ladies in the car he had the CD on and they also liked it. He said he would check his Mom’s CD stash and give them copies they were 21-22 years old. So it is just getting younger ones to take the time to listen, especially this age they seem to be more open to different genres of music at least that is what I see from my end.

    I also got copies of some of the songs gifted to me, but bought many copies of the CD just to have them. It is important to supoort him by buying his CD’s.


  90. OMG! Taylor not dance cool??? Wow, you need to start watching some vids of him. I even liked his dancing on AI! LOL But when I saw him at HOB – oh, my.. we won’t go there. I may be older now but I’m not dead.

  91. Oh rajrae… come sit by the fire with me and I’ll tell you about how bad it was when the Soul Patrol discovered Mr. Hicks was also a *gasp* smoker.

  92. LOL YKW. I ask myself that sometimes too. I think it’s more that teens want their own identity and therefore reject automatically anything their parents like. Only musically mature teens can appreciate soul/rb, or be open minded enough to actually listen to some of the older (or current for that matter) music their parents like. I think my daughter actually gets annoyed if I appear to be liking what she’s playing. LOL As a couple of my sons have gotten into their 20’s I at least see them a bit more open-minded and willing to let me play my own music on a long trip, and they’ll listen and even say, “Hey, that’s not bad!” on occasion. One time I heard them blasting “Boston” at a college thing and I just smiled inside and didn’t rub it in that it was some of “my music” they were all are getting into.

  93. taylorfan06 Says:

    What reality are you talking about? Your own?
    There’s three sides to every story: yours, mine, and the cold hard truth.

  94. GASP!!!!

  95. I’m in Canada and haven’t heard the new CD yet. Although I’ve heard WRIR online. It bothers me alot that depending where you buy it you get an extra song (I think there are 3?? bonus tracks depending) I hope the new CD is good. I really really really hope it is good. IMO the last CD only had one radio-worthy song on it…………and I’m one of those fans that prefer his early CDs…….I just happen to like the music better than from his post-idol CD. I also agree that he is more in his element when performing live. He really feeds off the audience……….Sweet Home Chicago comes to mind, and thanks IAG for posting that video here.
    As for the Soul Patrol, I think he HAS to at least acknowledge these fans because they voted him winner of AI but also that it has taken on a life of it’s own (bet he never saw that coming!!) and have been responsible for some awesome charitable fund-raisers these last couple years. He can’t just leave them in his dust now, no matter how silly it appears.

  96. Well, yes there are 3 different bonus tracks at various places but after reading some really great articles about the marketing and distribution of music cd’s, I discovered that it is really a necessity to get someplace like Target or Walmart to even CARRY your music. They want a perk of some kind. I don’t know the stores up in Canada but down here Target has “Indiscriminate Act of Kindness” and …. oh,wait, is it Walmart?? that has Hide nor Hair? They are both good songs but if you have to choose get IAOK. You can get the 3rd bonus by itself from iTunes for only .99.

    Well, we keep hearing how much better some of you like him live than his recorded music, but if he doesn’t put out records that will sell, there won’t BE any live performances to see. That’s why I said in one of my first posts here that maybe one reason he put such a variety might have been to hopefully attract the fans of those various genres and expand the level of interest in purchasing the cd. If he put out a cd totally like his pre-idol music, would there actually be enough interest in it? I don’t know the answer to that.

    Well, anyway, are you able to order from Target online up there??? iTunes is easy – Yes We Can is great and worth the dollar.

  97. brightlite Says:

    I guess we all are entitled to our opinions.
    I was referring to the American Idol appearances, and I guess I didn’t make that clear enough.
    He was not “cool” on Idol, he was a cute and cuddly southern born man who danced a bit spastic, but cute all the same.
    But no one said he danced “cool.”
    Just reiterating what was said back then. Still today he has his own style, and no one dances like him, he is unique and that may be “cool” in my book, and in all of y’alls books, but in mainstream Americs, it isn’t necessarily “cool.” He is just different.
    Not many men can move like him, no doubt, but the label we put on it is varied deoending on the person’s perspective.
    Sorry to upset so many people.
    Carry on indeed.

  98. I never said that I thought it was a sub-par performance. I like the CD a lot, and think he sounds very good. It just seems to me that there is a quality in his voice live that doen’t come across in least not so far. I don’t know exactly how to describe it, but his voice sounds more free when he sings live. Its almost as though when he is in the studio he is so focused on diction and getting it just right that he sounds different than in live performance. Most performers sound worse live, Taylor doesn’t. Do you have the Torrington set from the last tour? Listen to his voice…it just somehow sounds more alive, less constrained than he sounds in studio recordings.

  99. I’ll try to find them. Are they in the multimedia files at Boogie?

  100. My beef is that some people simply do not have the means, technically or financially (have an old boom-box or no credit card, etc.) and cannot download the tunes. (Which, if one DOES have, it amounts to an extra $3.00 to their purchase of the CD)…….failing that, then the fan would have to purchase 3 copies of the CD to get all of his music, that should have been included on the CD in the first place. I know it is a special ploy to have the album marketed, I understand this, but I do not agree with it. I purchased the “Taylor Hicks” CD at WalMart (so it should have had the extra track) and it did not have it included. One of the downsides of being a fan from another country I suppose. As a Canadian fan this is much easier than, say, being a fan from Denmark. Special offers for certain people just kind of bothers me, is all. Myself, I have all the bells & whistles and am able to get whatever I want, but that is not true for all fans.

  101. I agree with you. It’s kind of a double edged sword, really. I mean, it’s a marketing technique, for sure, but is it a good one? I don’t know, my degree isn’t in marketing. I just don’t see how it makes sense. So, now, Taylor’s fans are buying three copies of basically the same cd? And as for the bonus songs, if you’re just Joe Blow off the street, and you’ve never heard the bonus song before, how is that an incentive to buy? I’m sure there are 34843 factors that we don’t know about, but it just seems like taking the hard road instead of the easy one.

    And I’m going to have to disagree about Yes We Can. If you are a fan of pre Idol Taylor, I don’t think you’re going to like that song. You might, I don’t know…but if you want to hear it, let me know.

  102. Snowstorm Says:

    Only the diehards will buy the three copies.. the ones who will buy anything he puts out regardless if it’s bad or good. A regular fan/casual fan will only buy one copy. I also don’t think this cd will be a success. Only selling 15,000 copies is very poor and unless he gets a hit song, the sales will be less and less every week.

  103. Well, technically (for an American at least) you only need to buy 2 copies and spend $1 extra for YWC to get all the songs. Or you could buy the CD with IAOK from Target, download YWC and have all but one song and spend only $1 extra for the music. Yes, I feel sorry for the non-fans who don’t know about these extra three songs, especially IAOK. When I mention the CD to anyone I tell the be SURE to get it from Target and make sure it has IAOK on it. It’s too bad that was not put on the regular cd because IMO it’s the best of all 14 songs. But you see how as a marketing plan for Target, it does give them an advantage. They must also think they will move more of the CD by being able to put that little sticker on it saying it has something you won’t get anywhere else.

    The other issue, does this whole thing suck, yes it does but again, it’s an evil necessity. An artist needs to have big retailers make room for their music. This is the kind of thing they HAVE to do. It’s a marketing technique for Target, but for the artist it’s not a choice if they want their stuff in the store. I have to go find that article at BB. I have trouble finding my way back to stuff sometimes over there and don’t have a lot of time today but when I find it I’ll post the link.

  104. I love Yes We Can! His vocals and that funky beat…. But I had not heard Taylor’s EW until recently. I didn’t have that expectation or hope that his new music would all be similar to the early stuff. I like the variety. I thought it was cool he picked that song. His song choices show me how varied his taste in music is, which mine is also. I can enjoy a good song from just about any genre (or decade) except hip-hop or rap. Or real twangy Country.

  105. OK, here are the articles. It was a bitch to find them again – I forgot to bookmark.

    I don’t remember what section I was reading in about having to give perks to the stores to get them to carry your music.

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