Maybe it’s the cold settling in but Taylor Henderson’s ‘Burnt Letters’ is a bit like a nice big bowl of chicken soup. It’s a bit simple but it makes you feel warm and cozy.
Speaking of warm, we are loving new single ‘Already Gone’, with its bouncy guitar and infectious chorus. When the music fades and Taylor croons ‘hold on and pull me on’ at the end of the chorus, we fall a little harder for the boy next door from Geelong. There’s plenty more where that came from but that’s also problematic.
Many of the other acoustic pop/rock moments on here, such as ‘Brighter Days’ and ‘The Best Part’ are just too similar to his previous singles, and subsequently don’t shine as much as they should.
One such number does gleam bright though; ‘Piece by Piece’ is a clear standout with its simple melody and combination of punchy guitar and soft piano. Thankfully, it’s not all middle of the road numbers on here, with Taylor opening to experimenting on a few tracks.
He incorporates Avicii-esque dance elements on ‘Worth Fighting For’ though it comes off clunky rather than inspired. Better is ‘Close To Nothing’ with its dramatic orchestration during the chorus. Whereas ‘Worth Fighting For’ tries too hard to force a country/dance hybrid, ‘Close To Nothing’ sounds more like a fun experiment.
Joining previous hit ‘When You Were Mine’ in the ballad stakes are piano ballads ‘Host Of Angels’ and ‘Burnt Letters’. ‘Host Of Angels’ may have been co-written by the singer but we prefer the title track. It’s a surprisingly eerie way to end the mostly upbeat album but it’s also the best showcase of Taylor’s versatility as a singer.
We especially enjoyed the middle eight, which is quite reminiscent of Justin Timberlake’s ‘What Goes Around…’ interlude.
All in all, it’s a pretty reliable album. There are enough flecks of variety to appeal to a wider demographic whilst giving Taylor’s existing fans more of his signature acoustic pop/rock that they love so much.
Download : Already Gone, Close To Nothing, Piece By Piece, Burnt Letters.