Released by Marvel of Beauty (MOBCD026)
This compilation is NOT an album of previously released material – but a collection of reworked versions of some of Robin C Taylor’s favourite tracks from recent years – as said, reworked with the purpose of making the material sound, just as Mr. Taylor wanted it to sound in the first place. It’s always time for improvements, and this special album is meant to be THE album to start with for curious listeners, who never got the chance to explore, what Taylor’s Universe has to offer. Regular fans of the group, will – hopefully – also consider the album worth adding to their collections, as it contains quite a lot of new and fresh ideas!
Not unlike Kate Bush with Director's Cut, Robin C. Taylor decided to revisit some of Taylor's Universe's back catalogue not by putting out a greatest hits album, but by rerecording a number of old songs.
Being a fan of the band, but through their most recent albums (i.e. From Scratch, Worn Out and Evidence), I was wondering if these new recordings (and unknown to me) would show their origines or feel like they were from a true new album. Well I must say that if I had not known these were refreshed versions of older songs, I would have surely considered that Across the Universe was a "normal" new album by Taylor's Universe.
All that I enjoy about Taylor's Universe is on Across the Universe. Great guitars, keyboards, saxophone... and an excellent rhythm section backing it up. The seven tracks are just as good as the recent stuff and the production and performances are just great. I still detect some influences from Steve Hackett, King Crimson and a few others, but Taylor's Universe also has some distinct qualities that make their music unique. I've never heard the original pieces found on Across the Universe, so I do not know if these new versions are very faithfull and if they offer an important dusting off. One thing is for sure, Across the Universe is just as good as anything the band has put out recently.
Fans of the band or of intelligent and dynamic instrumental Prog Rock should really get their hands on this one. Many thanks Mr. Taylor for yet another gem to add to my music collection.