Friday, January 8, 2010

Taylor, Steve - "Squint"

Taylor, Steve - Squint
1993, Sparrow

1. The Lament of Desmond R.G. Underwood-Frederick IV
2. Bannerman
3. Smug
4. Jesus is For Losers
5. The Finish Line
6. The Moshing Floor
7. Easy Listening
8. Curses
9. Sock Heaven
10. Cash Cow (A Rock Opera in Three Small Acts)

The first time I heard Steve Taylor I was unaware of his status as a Christian rock legend. My cousin had Squint on tape and she played it for me. When I heard the fat, fuzzy bass lick in the lead off track I was pretty much sold. Unlike much of Steve's back catalogue, this disc still sounds fresh and modern even after almost 17 or so years. Steve is also one of the best lyricists I've ever heard. He has a way with satire - making his lyrics humorous but at the same time being deadly serious about whatever topic he's taking on. Take "Easy Listening" for example. It's got a bouncy sort of light reggae feel to it and the lyrics come from the perspective of someone from the year 2044. But the actual message embodied in lines like "My conscience was clean and my wallet was full/ Didn't hear none of this sacrifice bull" rail against cheap grace and easy Christianity. He also has a way of writing poignant heartfelt lyrics as well like on the ballad "Jesus is for Losers" and "The Finish Line." Of course he got some crap for "Jesus is for Losers" from people who don't know how to read a lyric sheet. Definitely a great album and highly recommended.

Useless Fact: "Sock Heaven" is about Steve's time with his band Chagall Guevara.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, Steve was pretty much always getting in trouble with folks who just didn't seem to get it (or who did get it, but found that it hit just a little too close to home). Great stuff.

    I dig all his albums, but agree that Squint has aged better (stylistically) than some of the others. Fortunately, the quality of the songs from those other albums ensures an always enjoyable (though sometimes uncomfortably convciting) listen.

    For some reason -- other than the title, I Predict 1990 still sounds very fresh to me. But what do I know???