Saddle Creek Records
Maria Taylor knows how to make an entrance. Her sophomore album begins with the simmering-to-boiling-over “Masterplan,” leaving listeners frothing for more. You can’t help but get sucked in and then blown away. The drums carry the sound like a wave that is just starting to crest andTaylorrides it with her voice like Kelly Slater. And that’s just the first four-and-a-half minutes! The rest of the album is instantly catchy and sticks with you begging you to listen again. Then when you do, you notice the subtle instrumentations and background vocals that make this album so remarkable and keep you coming back. I hear something different every time I listen. It’s the instant hooks that reel you in and the understated soul that endear it to you. This is one of the best solo albums of the year.