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ALLAN TAYLOR "Out Of Time" - T. Records tcd003

'Out of Time' is essentially older songs, all of which were originally available on earlier albums. Whilst really it is repackaging, as acknowledged in the sleeve notes, this doesn't detract from a fine song collection by this long respected and well travelled singer/songwriter. The stories of the songs are those of love and leaving, aging, travelling and the people and experiences encountered en route. Pulled together, they are the gentle, thoughtful and mature songs of a major contributor to the folk scene for over 30 years.

Some songs are live, others studio recordings but whichever, his trademark fine mellow voice and crystal clear guitar work, pervade throughout. Not being particularly familiar with all of his work, allowed me a certain objectivity in reviewing this CD. The song writing, as he is known for, is polished and beautifully crafted and the guitar work is perfect. Maybe too perfect because somehow for me, with a few exceptions it never truly inspires, but that of course is only one person's take. Having said that, it's one of those albums where the stand- out songs are exceptional.

The beautiful Standing at the Door is such an example. A song of travel and love which is truly exquisite, one of the finest on this theme that I've heard. A few songs, 'It's good to see you' and 'Roll on the day' are clearly his anthem type songs, most perfectly presented but will his followers not have them? Sometimes the album feels to have a 'sameness' of style but it moves up a gear with the very fine Boy is a Nation, an acutely observed song about the evils of apartheid and then Angelina's Cantina, again totally different.

In summary, a well produced body of work of the tales of life - a good compilation for those dedicated to Allan Taylor and an addition well worth a listen for the rest of us.

Neil Brown

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This album was reviewed in Issue 48 of The Living Tradition magazine.