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Album Review
Rachel Taylor - Come Alive EP Album Cover

Rachel Taylor - Come Alive EP

Reviewed by
8.0
Rachel TaylorCome Alive EP
Record Label: Universal Music (Republic Records)
Release Date: June 23, 2014
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
It’s been too long since we’ve heard new music from Rachel Taylor. After releasing the fantastic My Forever in 2010, He Is We pretty much faded out, aside from a quick EP at the end of 2011. Now three years removed, Taylor is back with a solo EP, Come Alive. On these five tracks, her voice is stronger than ever – but this is no He Is We part two. While it is still very much pop music, it feels considerably more grown up. The upbeat drums and fluttery vocals are replaced with synth influenced pop music, clearly nodding to artists such as Adele at times.

As “Porcelain” begins the EP, you aren’t really sure what to expect. A palm muted guitar line starts the gears, before Taylor’s familiar voice begins. However, it’s soft and calmed – it doesn’t jump right into an upbeat pop jam. Already things feel different than her past material. Still, once the chorus of “I just fall in line” kicks off, it’s her familiar control and hook that we expect. After the hook, the tepid palm mutes and tranquil vocals return, giving the chorus even more power once it picks up again. “Silence Looks Good On You” begins similarly, with eerie vocals and a distanced soundscape not unlike something you’d find on The xx’s Coexist. This time, a potent synth line fuels the chorus, with Taylor adopting a more ethereal vocal pattern.

While the first three songs all follow a similar formula – not in a bad way, by any means – it’s the last two tracks that really shine. The penultimate “Eternity” slowly shapes up, with just Taylor’s serene voice being center stage. Building up the chorus, synth backed drums fuel Taylor’s exceptionally controlled chorus, being easily the best moment of the EP up to this point. When the song starts, you aren’t really sure what to expect, and then the sweeping synth and drums take over the chorus with no forewarning. The final title track feels most like a He Is We song, which feels welcomed and actually suits the EP. Taylor’s familiar upbeat vocals steal your ears and command your foot to tap along, reminiscing the best moments of My Forever – think the choruses of tracks like “All About Us” and “Prove You Wrong.”

With My Forever being one of my favorite pop albums the first year I was on staff – and actually my first staff review – I am very pleased Rachel Taylor is writing music again. Come Alive takes the exact steps she should move in, using her ear for a melody and building song structure in ideal fashion. She doesn’t play it safe – the synth-laden choruses and unexpected chorus buildups – but that is not to say this will turn off old fans at all. Here’s to hoping for a full length in the near future, but for now, Come Alive should suffice some of your pop fix this summer.

8/10
 
Displaying posts 1 - 10 of 10
10:45 PM on 06/29/14
#2
Penguin
Twenty Centuries Of Sleep
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Ooh, I really need to check this out. Awesome review!
11:56 AM on 06/30/14
#3
Turkeylegz
C'est La Vie
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It's not bad but I already miss He Is We.
03:19 PM on 06/30/14
#4
vivatoto56
Your wick won't burn away
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Need to check this out. I <3 her
08:58 PM on 06/30/14
#5
Ryan Gardner
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Need to check this out. I <3 her
You'll like
02:51 PM on 07/03/14
#6
vivatoto56
Your wick won't burn away
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Love it. I read your review afterwords and chuckled because it's pretty much exactly how I feel. Eternity is soooo good. Will probably end up being one of my favorite songs of the year. So glad she's making music again, it sounded like it got pretty dark for her for awhile.
05:05 PM on 07/03/14
#7
Ryan Gardner
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Love it. I read your review afterwords and chuckled because it's pretty much exactly how I feel. Eternity is soooo good. Will probably end up being one of my favorite songs of the year. So glad she's making music again, it sounded like it got pretty dark for her for awhile.
Yeah I talked with her on Twitter the other day and she seems really proud of this. Glad you like it!
05:08 PM on 07/03/14
#8
vivatoto56
Your wick won't burn away
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Yeah I talked with her on Twitter the other day and she seems really proud of this. Glad you like it!
Any idea on her plans? Is she going to stick solo and put out a full release?

She could blow up quite easily.
06:04 PM on 07/03/14
#9
Ryan Gardner
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Any idea on her plans? Is she going to stick solo and put out a full release?

She could blow up quite easily.
No clue. This was on Universal/Republic so that's a great start ha.
12:30 AM on 07/26/14
readytoquestion
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It's a good EP, I like it a lot and I'm glad she's continuing to make music.

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