U is for Under the Radar

When Taylor said those infamous words, “I’m bringing real music back to fucking pop music!”, I thought he was referring to bringing back music like Under the Radar. Unfortunately, what he meant must have been “Beauty School Dropout.” I can still remember popping Under the Radar into the CD player. I was mesmerized by those songs and lyrics. I couldn’t believe the talent that Taylor Hicks possessed. I mean, I had seen him on the Idol stage singing other people’s songs, but I couldn’t wait for him to get off the Idol stage and start singing his own. Even the title “Under the Radar” meant something. There he was, just not visible enough to the general music public. If he could just catch a break, he could be a star. Along came Idol…and well, you know the rest.

But anyway…back to Under the Radar…the first song is The Deal.

Next up, Hell of a Day. I love how he uses words like metallurgy. Love it!! This video is from Smith’s with LiMBO. He just looks so damn happy in this video…it made me smile. Love the tagging, too.

Hold on to your Love

Heart and Soul

Sometimes we get weary
And find ourselves alone
In a world full of darkness
For those who have no home

It’s really hard for me to pick a favorite song on this album, but West Texas Sky ranks way up there. Unfortunately, I have never heard him sing it live, or even seen video of him singing it live. I could very well be wrong, but I don’t think he’s ever sang it in public, which is unfortunate. Please, be sure to correct me if I’m wrong!!

But who gets cut when the knife is dull?
And who gets lost when the map is full
Nobody wins and nobody loses
Just a handful of sorrows
And too many excuses

Even though the lyrics of Soul Thing are pretty simplistic, they get the idea across. Too bad he didn’t take his own advice regarding his music after Under the Radar….

When the tough get going,
The muses visit me.
Yet in soft, low tones,
They always say to me,
Say to me,

“It ain’t no groove thing,
It ain’t no country twang,
It’s a simple refrain;
It’s a soul thang.”

And yes, he does mix up the lyrics in this video..but I guess if you wrote the song, you can do what you want. 🙂

My Friend…I’ve heard rumors that this song was written about Bill Will…not sure if it’s true or not.

I was actually there at that concert in New Orleans. It really was fantastic!

U may be for Under the Radar, but maybe it should be for underachiever regarding his own music.

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69 Responses to “U is for Under the Radar”

  1. “Heart and Soul”-Favorite on UTR. Also love the IYT cd.

  2. I see your point. He was young and intent on being a singer and song writer and had free time and wasn’t pulled in so many directions. Sometimes creativity is a lonely process, and the best ideas flow when we are young and unincumbered by life. He mentioned on Whomp that Son of A Carpenter was an ode to a carpenter he watched one day as well as watching the magnificent results of the guys labor, yet noticing who got the fame and acclaim for the project. He said said The Fall was written after a breakup. A breakup at age 19 is a big thing. The public voted for him based on his excellent interpertation of several well known songs, and his performanc style and charisma. He was thrust into the spotlight big time and silent reflective moments were now hard to come by. Grey he makes jokes about cone ranger, read his latest tweet. He can’t even have a steady solid relationship with a girl, much less be able to compose a breakup song. You don’t help him or hurt him by not taking your family to see Grease in your city. But you may hurt your understanding of him by avoiding it. No One who won AI can go back and live just as they were pre AI. But all that creativity, and song writing ability and love of music is still in him. I do not believe he just wants fame and fortune and any old acting role. I think he wants to make his big mark and statements in music. But I’m behind him doing what he need do to keep the income flowing.

  3. spinshack Says:

    “West Texas Sky” always has been one of my favorites. It is too bad he hasn’t performed that one.

  4. “Cone Freakin Ranger Rides again”…

    ha.

  5. I know one thing. He looks damn good singing Hell Of A Day, in that video. He looks so much younger with that longer hair and less weight. I wonder if he will grow it longer after Grease. Only 5 months til Cone Ranger retires!

  6. hicksaholic Says:

    I think “My Friend” was written about one of his two friends who died young, one in a car wreck and one in a skiing accident, at least that’s what I remember.

    I was at the NO concert(both) Wonder if Taylor will show up anywhere like HOB again. I love that venue for him.

    I really love Hold Onto your Love. The UTR album music suits his voice better than the TH cd and The Distance IMO although I enjoy both of those cds too.

  7. blueberry Says:

    Yep, this is my favorite TH cd. The subsequent cd’s are good, but this is the one I really like. And I’m sure there are more to come, no way he still doesn’t have this kind of talent.

    I also like West Texas Sky, but have a question about the lyrics – what does “the map is full” mean? Love the song, but I always get stuck on those words…I’m sure it’s fairly obvious.

  8. taylorfan06 Says:

    I SO love HOTYL on WATW. Ot’s such a jam! Definitely my favorite performance on this amazing dvd that I’m SO glad has finally seen the light of day. THe whole dvd just rocks! Taylor did himself proud.

  9. Rosie:

    I was thinking pretty much the same thing but hadn’t gotten around to saying it. Let me just add that every experience we have in life molds us, changes us, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. Taylor has seen so many changes in his life in a relatively short time. I wouldn’t be surprised if he is having trouble digesting them all and trying to discover what kind of impact they will have on the rest of his life. The composer of the UTR songs isn’t the same man he was back then. I prefer to look forward to the next chapter. The past is just that: past.

  10. I also like West Texas Sky, but have a question about the lyrics – what does “the map is full” mean? Love the song, but I always get stuck on those words…I’m sure it’s fairly obvious.

    Blueberry…my guess is that it means that even surrounded by people, you can still be alone. Of course I could be totally off base.

    So you’re drivin’ away these miles
    So far away from your southern home
    Takin’ your charms and dreams to the Golden State
    Make your way, seal your fate

    That’s when you’re gone away
    Where no one will hear you cry
    When you’re late
    For that west Texas sky

    When you left home, I didn’t think twice
    Oh, I knew, you had to roam
    I knew that life was getting you down
    You always feel alone when there’s no one around

    But who gets cut when the knife is dull?
    And who gets lost when the map is full
    Nobody wins and nobody loses
    Just a handful of sorrows
    And too many excuses

    You wanted to walk beside the ocean
    Oh, and stand beside the sea
    And now you can’t wait until tomorrow
    There’s so much to do
    And so much to see

    (guitar instrumental)

    So you’re drivin’ away these miles
    So far away from your southern home
    Takin’ your charms and dreams to the Golden State
    Make your way, seal your fate

    That’s when you’re gone away
    Where no one will hear you cry
    When you’re late
    For that west Texas sky

    When you’re late
    For that west Texas sky (2x)

    Mmmhmm

    When you’re late
    For that west Texas sky
    For that west Texas sky

  11. No One who won AI can go back and live just as they were pre AI. But all that creativity, and song writing ability and love of music is still in him.

    Rosie, I completely agree with you on this. I don’t expect him to return to who he was before AI, and I do think that all of that creativity is still in him. About now, I bet it’s dying to get out since he’s been in a freakin’ cone for however long now. I just wish he would let some of it out. The TH cd and the Distance cd are okay, but they just don’t compare to UTR, in my opinion. I think the thing about UTR is that it just seems so real. The pain, the hope, the loss, the love is so evident, in the lyrics and in his performance on the cd.

  12. IAG I agree that it is too bad he didn’t take his own advice. He can’t sing Soul Thing now because it IS a country twang these days, isn’t it?

  13. blueberry Says:

    Thanks IAG, that does make sense.

  14. hicksaholic Says:

    I agree too that the songs on Under The Radar are so real because his feelings are so real and raw. I wonder though with all the hoopla that came with the AI win and the subsequent confirmation of his talent(even if not as much of a confirmation as he hoped) if he even has it in him to write about pain and desperation, loss etc. It seems he is enjoying life now which is great for him from a personal and financial perspective but it may hurt his song writing capablity.

  15. casualfan Says:

    Everyone here has really good thoughts. Very interesting blog topic indeed.

  16. hicksfan7 Says:

    Excellent blog post IAG – loving these videos too. I remember ‘way back when..’ and I had listened to Hold On To Your Love on the CD – and then heard him perform it live so many time – before I had any concept of ‘tagging’ and I used to call the song “Hold On To Your Lyrics” hahha – since he tagged SO much in that song and I really love how he does that!

  17. Poke Salad Annie Says:

    Great topic and thoughtful responses…this is what I enjoy most about this site…and why I just skip responding when there’s a little tiff going on. I think we all come here because we’re fans of the grey-haired guy from Birmingham. He created quite a stir when he was on AI5, and that’s because he’s talented as hell….no question! How he is marketing himself seems to be what we’re all concerned about. I think we all want him to succeed. He did a fantastic job of singing other people’s songs on AI…remember what he did with “Trouble”?? I still get chills thinking about it. His song writing abilities are way up there with the best…Under the Radar proves that. The question is, how does he sell it. I think we all know the answer. Find a way to get radio play. If no one hears him, no one knows how good he is. We do, but there’s not enough of us. He needs exposure, and while “Grease” isn’t what we envisioned for him, he does find new fans. When his stint as “Teen Angel” is over, hopefully he finds a way to get back to singing his songs,his way.

  18. UTR and IYT is the meat of who Taylor really is as a songwriter and as a person. I can say for myself that is why I continue to follow the man and really appreciate him live and his older music. I hope that he finds his way back to his roots and will continue to grow from there. IMO-That is being real.

  19. I’ve decided until he sings “West TX Sky” live, I will hate him. I kid, I kid.
    Speaking of Under the Radar, I doubt one could be much more under it than this gal: (off beaten path/topic)

  20. Loved that girl. She’s going to get to ride on an air-o-plane. Loved the General, and his song and love AI and the American people.

  21. taylorfan06 Says:

    Nice video, spin. Sweet girl. I’m glad she made it through.

    On a sad note: RIP, Teddy Pendergrass.

  22. taylorfan06 Says:

    UTR is a GREAT cd. It’s really like a “greatest hits” cd to me. Taylor really stepped it up on the WATW versions. “Hell Of A Day” is my favorite song off UTR. “Hold On To Your Love” is my favorite WATW performance. Taylor unleashed and in his element!

  23. taylorfan06 Says:

    Check out my write up at the BB under the Music section. “MY TOP 10 WATW PERFORMANCES”. All the UTR performances made the cut, except HOAD, and WTS which he didn’t perform at that concert.

    http://excoboard.com/exco/index.php?boardid=19754
    (I hope this is ok gray)

    P.S.
    Has everyone received their DVD? Is that why it’s so quiet here today?

  24. “Is that why it’s so quiet here today?”

    No, it’s because even his hardcore fans are bored with him. They have seen that concert, in person and the DVD hundreds of times by now!! So, what the hell is there to discuss, unless you want to keep going around in cirlces?

    edited by IAG

  25. not me – I’ve just been busy – I hate when real life butts in!

    LOL LOL

  26. taylorfan06 Says:

    Snow – your life must be such a party! And WHY do you think i’m griz?
    Trust me, I”M NOT!!!!

  27. taylorfan06 Says:

    iag – can we get a handle on the name calling that always seems to appear when snow comes to town?
    signed, TF06 (NOT griz!)

  28. Snowstorm Says:

    Nobody is going to listen to obsessed middle-age housewifes who constantly spam Twitter with Taylor Hicks nonsense. Do they really think they are going to turn someone into a Taylor Hicks fan? They are completely nuts! They don’t understand the damage they end up doing, even though I think they mean well, they just don’t get it.

    edited by IAG

  29. hicksfan7 Says:

    holy wow!
    re: “even though I think they mean well” I think that is the closest thing to a compliment or positive statement regarding a Taylor fan that I have ever seen from SS.

  30. blueberry Says:

    Haven’t we been here and done this already? It should be apparent that no one is going to change any minds on this issue – so let’s acknowledge (for the millionth time) the differences and move on (I don’t mean away from this site – just not have every post become the same tired arguement).

  31. hicksfan7 Says:

    just curious – but how is upsetting a fellow IAG poster a VICTORY?
    I’m so confused.

  32. Snowstorm Says:

    You will NOT convince anyone that Taylor Hicks is the greatest thing on earth! It’s up to Taylor Hicks and his mgmt to market his career.. it’s not up to fans! Didn’t you learn anything from the Claymates? The Glamberts are crazy too, they are hurting Adam’s career!

    edited by IAG

  33. We HAD such a peaceful couple of days. LOL.

  34. Snowstorm Says:

    The truth hurts. Fact of the matter is Taylor’s fans turned his career into shit, along with sub-par cds. Sub-par doesn’t cut it.

    Don’t blame him for turning to acting… that’s his only hope. Now let’s hope someone gives him a job, which I have my doubts about.

  35. Poke Salad Annie Says:

    Ok, everyone join me in a rousing chorus of “Pants on the Ground” 😉

  36. hicksfan7 Says:

    PSA – that was one of the funniest moments ever on AI – loved it!

  37. taylorfan06 Says:

    First of all, I DO NOT TWITTER! And second, I am NOT trying to convince people to become Taylor Hicks fans! And, third, I am NOT Griz!!!! Many here know it, and I think you know it, what’s with all the accusation and continued bullying? You ALWAYS have to start stuff! Mellow out please!

    “We HAD such a peaceful couple of days. LOL.” Thank you for that Dee. It was sure was nice while it lasted!

    California is beautiful and the weather is great! Why should she care about showing love for Taylor here. …and not on twitter because I don’t know anything about twitter, nor do I care anything about twitter!!!!

    It’s been great reading about and commenting about UTR, which I, among many others here, believe is a great cd of Taylor’s and a road he’ll find his way back to. I think T is doing fine and will continue to do so.

    edited by IAG

  38. New subject!! Did y’all see the pic of his scalp? Yuck…

  39. hicksfan7 Says:

    ummmm…..no….who’s scalp????

    btw – I am little surprised that some folks can say whatever they want about others on here, but I cannot even say someone’s post is boring??? wth?

  40. hicksaholic Says:

    The picture on Taylor’s twitter (on the BB) of Taylor’s scalp from the top of the cone. It wasn’t very pretty and got a lot of posters concerned for his hair health due to the products required to make him Teen Angel. lol. That would be a funny thread for him to read. I imagine he would be going WTF pretty quickly.

  41. I got claustophobic just looking at the picture. LOL. I don’t know which would bother me more the small space or knowing I was so high up. LOL. Heard somewhere he spends at least 15 minutes in there waiting to go on. Guess he tweets to keep busy.

  42. Taylor tweeted the article about the top shows of the decade which included his photo since his season ranked #1 and #2 most watched. I think he is proud about that. So many people remember how entertaining he was on AI and even though they may have never voted for him, or bought his CDs, I think they want to see him in Grease. Several reviewers have mentioned the screams and cheers he gets when the cone opens. A few have said it is like he was Elvis. He has the likeability factor in his favor. He mentions in just about every interview that he has movie and TV offers. I wonder what kind of role Grey and others would sanction .

  43. Perhaps Taylor should concentrate on writing sure fire hit songs, such as Who Let The Dogs Out, Pants On The Ground and My Ding a Ling. Ding A Ling revived Chuck Berry’s career.

  44. casualfan Says:

    It’s been great reading about and commenting about UTR, which I, among many others here, believe is a great cd of Taylor’s and a road he’ll find his way back to. I think T is doing fine and will continue to do so.
    =============================================
    Totally Agree!

  45. casualfan Says:

    hicksaholic Says:

    January 15, 2010 at 6:24 pm
    The picture on Taylor’s twitter (on the BB) of Taylor’s scalp from the top of the cone. It wasn’t very pretty and got a lot of posters concerned for his hair health due to the products required to make him Teen Angel. lol.
    ==========================================
    LOL! They obviously haven’t paid too much attention to his dad then. Brad has a lot of hair but it’s thinning. Taylor takes after his father is that respect-among other things. Plus T wears hats alot which will lead to hair loss. I keep saying that T will be bald on top by the time he’s in his 40’s.

  46. T stated in one of the St Loius interviews that he could be a judge on AI to replace Simon. What if Taylor has something to do with Simon and X-Factor? Just saying…

  47. hicksaholic Says:

    If Taylor wrote a song along the lines of My Ding A Ling that would certainly get the conversation going.

  48. casualfan Says:

    Fairhope Says:

    January 15, 2010 at 9:38 pm
    T stated in one of the St Loius interviews that he could be a judge on AI to replace Simon.
    ============================================
    T does have a sense of humor on occasion, doesn’t he 😉

  49. hicksfan7 Says:

    from Bob Lefsetz – on ‘The Future’
    ” And seemingly every artist with traction wants to throw off the major label constraints and try new things. Nine Inch Nails is selling a DVD of footage created by fans.”

    WOW
    That is exactly what I was just dreaming of having for Taylor – LOL LOL

  50. littlewing Says:

    Ah yes, the days of blasting those UTR songs on the road to work back in ’06, courtesy of Gray Charles. Man, those were the days. I hope the same muses visit him soon.

    OK, I could be wrong but I don’t think tf06 is griz, been readin’ griz a long time and tf06 just doesn’t have the same tone…

    “My Ding-A-Ling” Maybe Taylor should cover that one in the future, hee.

  51. I’m on percocet and feeling like shit, so those easily offended read no further. I think he should start tagging a bit of the funky, “My Ding A Ling”. Any ideas on which song would work with that? BTW, the jeans he wore on the Whomp interview fit like a glove.

  52. ….jeans….fit…glove……getting really WARM in here!

    LOL

  53. Taylor seemed to have pretty thick hair before getting it cut short maybe they are razor cutting it. That cuts and takes the bulk out.

  54. casualfan Says:

    You are right Little Wing. TF6 doesn’t read anything like Griz-and that’s a compliment to you TF6.

  55. casualfan Says:

    Dee-T does have a lot of thick hair. I remember his Grandmother Joni telling us that he takes after his Grandfather-her late husband in that department. In fact she said he looks more and more like him every day. Judging from the pics I’ve seen and what his daddy looks like, she’s right.

  56. Maybe he’s going bald…

  57. His hair looked super thick until the summer of 08 when he started wearing it short for Grease. I checked out his head in Aug 08, front, back and sides and it looked fine. Male paterned baldness does not happen suddenly and either the top of the head starts showing a coin sized hole, or the front starts receeding. Taylor’s looks thin more to the sides of the top which is weird, so it could from all the gunk and the lighting. There were two relly mean comments left below the twit pic, which either he or his team have deleted. Maybe he isn’t going bald… Speaking of hair, I noticed that Simon has too much hair on his hands and arms. To me Taylor looks manly, sexy, cute and handsome.

  58. I’m too doped up for a deep discussion. Going back to watch the second half of the Ravens/Colts game. Go Ravens.

  59. littlewing Says:

    Don’t blame him for turning to acting… that’s his only hope.

    Snowstorm: I think this is about the most ridiculous stmt I’ve ever read regarding Taylor’s career. He is a musician first, it’s in his blood – that’s a given. To write him off at this point is unfathomable to me. Ain’t no way he’s out the game.

    cf, griz was always cool to me in the past at MJs. Even though she tried to rip me a new one that time over at Morph’s, I guess I’ll let that one slide 😉

    Taylor could always tag DingALing during Naked in the Jungle and add some trills – that’d be hittin’ LOL

  60. Maybe the attachment of a hairpiece atop his hair for Teen Angel has something to do with thinning. It could actually be pulling hair out. He sort of looks like his dad, but then again he doesn’t. He has different coloring, different eyes, and is taller. Saw in some interviews recently that Taylor claims he has received offers for TV & movies. When one interviewer asked for more information, he said he could not tell more at the present time, but they would know later on, presumably when everything fell into place.

  61. hicksaholic Says:

    I think he has has something already lined up. I ran into Joni at a festival a couple of months ago, introduced myself as a huge Taylor fan and we chatted. She said she thinks he has something already in the works for after Grease but she doesn’t know what. I think we were talking tv or movies at the time but I can’t remember specifically. She said if he told her she would tell me or anybody else that she talked to about Taylor so it was better if she didn’t know. She did say though that she thought he had told Brad. She also said Taylor surprised her with a car last Christmas and he had bought his dad a new house. Grease pays well apparently. She said he told her when he was 10 or 11 that he was going to be famous one day and own a Lamborghini(?). She asked him if he had gotten one yet and he said no, but he could buy one if he wanted, he just doesn’t have time for one now. Actually given what I have read somewhere about his habit of driving too fast that may be a good thing for us if we want any new music.

  62. hicksaholic Says:

    I don’t think Taylor is going bald. I think the gray hair somehow lets the scalp show more than if his hair was dark although I don’t know why that would be. I thought Brad still had a lot of hair but have never looked at him that closely. Poor Taylor. I would hate to think people were dissecting my scalp on a blog.

  63. I’m surprised Tay bought his dad a house, what with the 2008 expense of doing EW and him earning $300,000. I think Taylor resembles his mom , but I also see his dad in him. Taylor is used to fans disecting every part of his body. I feel more sorry for his grandmom and his parents and other relatives who may read what is written about him. Taylor signed on for the fame and notoriety. Wonder if his dad’s house has a nicer basement. lol

  64. I don’t feel bad for any of them. They all handle themselves very well and Taylor takes very good care of his Grandmother as does the rest of the family. As far as getting use to having fans dissect his every move-no one gets use to that. It can be very unnerving to know that someone is always out there reporting your every move and know (or tries to know) every aspect of your life. Taylor is probably more embarrassed than anything else knowing that peeps discuss how big his pkg is and write fanfic about him for all to see. Thankfully, Taylor does have fans who truly support his music, his charity contributions, the difference that he does make to people’s lives and don’t pay attention to the other nonsense.

  65. Maybe he should have looked at the twit pic a little closer before he posted it. Kinda like the two guys at the bar pic. Sometimes things show up that you don’t want to make public. I also think the lighting had something to do with the discoloration of his scalp. He’s still major hot though…I sound like a teenager.

  66. I still say it’s the way his hair is cut. I think it’s razor cut and that thins the hair. If he lets it grow out the bulk will come back.

  67. hicksaholic Says:

    Wasn’t the $300000 for only a few months of work? I would love to know Taylor’s monthly salary with Grease.

  68. Whoever thinks that he really has a green scalp is just daft. lol It’s the pixelation of the image with the odd lighting in that structure. Seriously people.

    It’s epidemic in certain spheres within this internet gaggle following Hicks to dissect every single asinine thing about other fans, about Hicks.

  69. casualfan Says:

    Once again, Sunny comes thru with a realistic statement. I looked at the pic again last night and I’m with you….the pixels are what’s making the scalp look strange. Iphone cameras aren’t known for high quality pics.

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