Taylor McFerrin
Early Riser


5.0
classic

Review

by Nine USER (6 Reviews)
February 22nd, 2019 | 12 replies


Release Date: 06/03/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: With ethereal mixtures of jazz instrumentations and electronic elements, Taylor McFerrin creates a masterful and luscious soundscape.

Based in Brooklyn, New York and under the Brainfeeder label, Taylor McFerrin infuses two types of music on "Early Riser" to create calming and captivating compositions. With a musical style that implements both jazz and electronic instruments, one might attribute the sound to the likes of Flying Lotus and similar groups. However, Taylor here centers his focus more on the rich and luscious qualities of both aspects of jazz and electronic music rather than experimentation. Throughout this auditorial adventure, you'll hear a variety of spliced in jazz instrumentations such as percussions, bass, and keys mixed and harmonized with spacey electronic renditions in which Taylor uses to form an alluring soundscape. As the record opens with a variety of ambient sounds on the song "Postpartum", the listener will immediately be enveloped in the musical atmosphere. The minimal keyboard notes, percussion, and background vocals ease the listener as provides context as to what the record holds. The track that follows, "Degrees of Light", is probably the best example of the aforementioned infusion of the two genres as the synthesized elements are in near perfect harmony with the claps and percussive instruments. Despite the first couple of tracks being focused more on instrumentals, a handful of spacey vocal appearances from the likes of Nai Palm, Emily King, and his Taylor's father Bobby McFerrin appear later on this record as well. Originally, Taylor himself intended to sing on the entire record, but later decisions made him decide against it. If the decision was for better or worse, regardless, the appropriately placed guest vocals on tracks such as the lyrically engaging "The Antidote" and the heartfelt "Place In My Heart" effectively complemented the relaxed nature of the accompanying music.

Despite most of the songs on the record possessing a stylistically tranquil theme, you'll also hear some small little ditties in between tracks under the energetic "4 am" and the atmospheric "Blind Aesthetics". As short as these musical interludes may appear, they change up the pace and ultimately liven up the record in terms of the peaceful theme its encompassing. Heading into the latter half of the record, we start to hear more guest vocal performances on tracks like "Decisions" where the theme of the record truly takes off with its exuberant electronic beats intertwined with the background ambiance and pleasant vocals. It's also worth mentioning the usage of ambiance on the track "Invisible/Visible" where the multitude of vocals provided by Bobby McFerrin add to the ambiance of the track as the following keys and strings fittingly conclude the song. Capping off the album is the track "PLS DNT LSTN" with a finale that begins foreboding then leads into a hard-hitting jazz performance that ties the bow on the album's theme. As a whole, while implementing ambient electronic elements with jazz, Taylor manages to bring forth a stunningly adept debut record. The progressing inclusions of instruments per song differentiate how each song stands out from one another on a structural level and gradually lures the listener into its atmospheric realms. As the record manages a relaxing musical theme, though, Taylor adds some flair to the mix with the usage of echoing vocals complemented by well-composed jazz instrumentations and ambient synthesized sounds to provide more than just relaxation, but a dreamy experience. With a soundscape that's both easy on the ears and enthralling, Taylor nails every together to form a masterfully crafted jazz/electronic infused record.

Overall Rating: 5/5
Standout Tracks: Degrees of Light, The Antidote, Decisions, Place In My Heart



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Comments:Add a Comment 
9Hammer
February 22nd 2019


80 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Never thought I'd review something I gave a 5, but here I am. Genuinely enjoyed what this album had to offer.

Spudjam
February 22nd 2019


14 Comments


How I have never heard of this! Cheers for turning me onto it, I'm loving it. "The antidote" goes down nicely

9Hammer
February 22nd 2019


80 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Hey, glad to hear that you're enjoying it SpudJam!

Relinquished
February 22nd 2019


39314 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

would be perfect if not for '4AM', but I wake up to "Degrees of Light" almost everyday

9Hammer
February 22nd 2019


80 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I concur with that. Love how Degrees of Light sounds when it starts. 4AM would honestly make for a sufficient alarm tune though, lol.

Lord(e)Po)))ts
February 22nd 2019


41575 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

4am is an awesome interlude, dunno how 40 seconds of great percussion and keys is blocking his shine



On an aside check soft glas - late bloom for a similar style , also it fears mcferrins sis on a couple tracks

Digging: Edyth - Bare II

Relinquished
February 22nd 2019


39314 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

to me it’s one of those records that didn’t need such a break, letalone a short one

Lord(e)Po)))ts
February 22nd 2019


41575 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I disagree, I think it compliments the flow and tone nicely, I'd miss it if it wasnt there

Slex
February 22nd 2019


6109 Comments


Awesome album

Digging: Shin Guard - 2020

Lord(e)Po)))ts
February 22nd 2019


41575 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Glad u dug

hal1ax
February 23rd 2019


13282 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is sick yeaa

Lord(e)Po)))ts
February 23rd 2019


41575 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Ima just keep mentioning soft glas until someone checks it



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