Gary Taylor | Retro Blackness

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Retro Blackness

by Gary Taylor

Soulful R&B
Genre: Urban/R&B: Soul
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Love Like No Other
5:03 $0.99
2. Do you know
5:41 $0.99
3. Old School
5:14 $0.99
4. Lovin' My People
5:05 $0.99
5. Healing
4:40 $0.99
6. Down Hill
5:10 $0.99
7. My Blackness
4:51 $0.99
8. As If
5:14 $0.99
9. Soul Murder
5:34 $0.99
10. Thought I Knew You
4:53 $0.99
11. Ghetto People
5:30 $0.99
12. W.O.C. (Restated) Featuring The Whispers
5:27 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Gary Taylor Bio / “Retro Blackness”

Retro: Imitative of a style, fashion or design from the recent past.

Blackness: The state of being black, as in an American of African heritage

Retro Blackness: Gary Taylor's soulful musical celebration and heartfelt contemplation of a culture

This time, he's singing about a different kind of love.

During his latest Morning Crew CD, celebrated vocalist, songwriter and producer Gary Taylor makes his most ambitious declaration of love yet: RETRO BLACKNESS is the soulful musical celebration and heartfelt contemplation of a people and a culture.

Both the modern remembrance of a prideful era gone by and an ambitious, reflective hope for the future, these are songs about the love of SELF.

"Anyone who knows me personally knows I'm opinionated," Taylor says, speaking on his inspiration for this project. "I just hadn't voiced these particular thoughts in my music before. But today, you only have to look around to see what is happening to black America, and I wanted to write about it--about us. You don't have to be a revolutionary to tell it like it is."

No, you simply have to be willing to tell it. During RETRO BLACKNESS, Taylor is persuasive as he spans the gamut of emotions of a culture. Among the tracks: the funky, feel-good anthem, "Loving My People" is a snapshot of community pride and love that feels like a plate of soul-soothing comfort food. Taylor affectionately paints a vivid portrait of a time gone by but still fresh in the hearts and minds of those who lived it.

Accordingly, "My Blackness" is a proud, chordy celebration of heritage that you simply don't hear in black music anymore. Who sings about being black--and of wearing that skin with honor? Likewise, "Love Like No Other," is an affection-filled ode to family, from the grandparents down to the young kids.

"As If," on the other hand, is a ballad prolific in its somber address of the emotional/physical dysfunction that has plagued a people from, it seems, the beginning of time.

Meanwhile, during the bold, prowling "Ghetto People," Taylor speaks directly to the black community, daring to ask the big questions, but offering a remedy worth pondering.

Of course, no Taylor song collection would be complete without his insightful take on romantic affairs of the heart. During RETRO BLACKNESS, Taylor artfully illustrates the undeniable thread between cultural love and the personal relationship.

"Old School" is a sentimental sway that lyrically captures a more innocent romantic time, while musically exhibiting the songwriter's knack for crafting a great, soulful ditty. That song's emotional counterpart is the dark and treacherous "Soul Murder," a pointed look at the empty, lonely act of infidelity. The track could be the cousin to the insistent, mid-tempo, "Knew You Better," the kind of tell-it-like-it-'tis rant that's bound to spew when a wronged lover has had enough.

And then there is "W.O.C. (Restated)," a sultry, expansive reprise of the Taylor classic, "Woman of Color," from his 2003 CD, ECLECTIC BOHEMIAN. For this version, Taylor stretches the tune out Isaac Hayes style, indulging in spoken monologue while his stalwarts, the legendary Whispers, take care of the singing before Taylor vocally joins the group in soulful crescendo.

"It's all connected," Taylor says, commenting on the love of self and personal romance. "How you feel about yourself as a human being--how you're raised and how you see yourself as a citizen of the world--that's what you're going to bring to a relationship. We're people forever struggling with all aspects of this thing called love. This is what I wanted to capture with RETRO BLACKNESS."

Stepping out on his convictions isn't anything new for the Los Angeles-based Taylor, who officially launched his recording career in 1983 with the A&M album, G.T. His second album, 1988's COMPASSION, was originally released on Virgin, yet another major label, before Taylor realized that, for a variety of reasons, the major label concept isn't the place for every artist.

Thus Taylor's Morning Crew label was born. Founded in 1991--named in honor of the employee work shift Taylor used to manage at a supermarket chain before quitting to pursue his musical career--Morning Crew was fiercely independent long before going "indy" became the politically rebellious or trendy, Internet-inspired thing to do.

Taylor developed as an artist, but he also became a prolific songwriter and producer, creating seminal music for artists as disparate as Anita Baker ("Good Love"), The Whispers ("Just Gets Better With Time," "My Heart, Your Heart") and Lalah Hathaway ("I'm Coming Back"), producing actress/singer Vanessa L. Williams and having his songs covered by everyone from Grover Washington, Jr., George Clinton and a Tribe Called Quest, among many others.

While the phone continues to ring for Taylor the tunesmith and producer, Taylor prefers nurturing the artistic freedom and integrity he enjoys as an artist.

The result is more than a decade of music--thoughtful, intelligent and impassioned soul music--that has garnered Taylor a devout international fan base. Recordings such as TAKE CONTROL, SQUARE ONE, THE MOOD OF MIDNIGHT and UNDER THE NIGHTLIGHT, among others, speak to and for the hearts of women and men regarding love, romance and the almighty Relationship.

It's no fluke that the heart of Taylor's music--the haunting melodies, the sexy, intoxicating chords, insightful lyrics, and ever soulful vocals--remind listeners some of popular soul's most influential artists, such as Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway and Curtis Mayfield.

"Stevie, Donny, Marvin Gaye, Gamble and Huff--these are the classic R&B songwriters I love the most," says Taylor. "Much of what they wrote about in the '60s and '70s still speak to the social issues we battle (as a culture) today. I wanted that kind of spirit on this CD. "

While he succeeded, RETRO BLACKNESS is pure Gary Taylor, in a way he's never been heard before. This is his musical mother lode, his defining moment and arguably, his most important work to date as an artist.

Once upon a time, before the wholesale forsaking of a people's pride; before the blatant, rampant misogyny and the squandering of an artistic legacy, there was self-respect, fellowship and imagination, unbridled and inspired. Listen to RETRO BLACKNESS and know that in the heart and soul of at least one man, these things still exist.



to write a review

Linda Koennecke

musical blessing
This is a musical blessing. Call it oldschool romantic, urban consciousness or just real good soul.

Taylor knows how to combine that Hammond and bass with his warm singing voice.

"W.O.C. (Restated)" is definitely THE highlight in its composition and arrangement. Pure and honest in its message.

Smooth Retro-R&B that doesn´t look back but optimistically into the future. Classic Soul.


Another awesome CD Mr Taylor thank you!
I have just about every CD he has put out and they are ALL very nice. A smooth groove so if you like something meaningful in lyrics and smooth in melody please check out this talented artist you won't be disappointed.

Terrell Kitching

Every time I play your music to some one who has never her your music, they want to know where can they get your cds..My wife loves your sound bro.. she cant wait till you go on tour. How about live cd from one of your concert....

Tonia Bolton

It's soothing, enlightening, and worthy of passing on to friends.
I enjoyed every note! Continue on . . .

Charles F. Hearne

This is another Outstanding CD from Mr. Taylor
The hole Cd is outstanding. If you ever wanted to sit down and re-evaul your life and what went wrong. Listen to this and the last CD by Gary...Me and my wife listen to Mr. Taylor's last two CD while driving from LA to San Diego, Ca. and back, dicepting (sic)(talking) about each and ever song. Because I LOVE MY BLACK PEOPLE and LOVE LIKE NO OTHER..Mind-Blowing........


Gary's cd is off the chain
Gary has done it again with Retro Blackness. This music will relax you and soothe you better than anything you can get from your family doctor. If your nervous, head achey, full of anxiety or just plain mad,take 2 full spins of Dr. Gary and you're garenteed to feel good all over. Wonderfull and completely soulfull from beginning to end!

What Black Men Think

We want this for our soundtrack!
"Loving my people" caught me right off the top! get in contact with me, this track definitely has a place in our movie!


Great! Bread breaking,lovemaking,thought provoking.Spectacular,Refreshing,Uplift
This was a real treat for me. The balladeer we all wait for. The way we love Luther and Marvin and Donny, The Isleys,RKelly,Stevie,Lionel....Gary Taylor is a hidden gem/undiscovered treasure I stumbled upon and a talent so rooted in positivity, cultural respect,social awareness and brimming with soul that he can't help but move you to love,tears and deep compassion. Best of luck to you. You are deserving of the mic and the limelight.

Stella from England

Lovely songs, great album
I have enjoyed Gary's songs since 'Take Control' and this latest album is just as lovely as his previous albums. Great songs, terrific voice, thanks for another wonderful collection.

Barry Towler (Soul Express, UK)

Gary Taylor has never let me down. To me he is the thinking man's soul singer. No cookie cutter material here. Retro Blackness is a defining moment in Gary's career. Gary has always addressed issues of love and relationship, and rightly so, and he takes this them a bar haigher and a lot deeper. Love for his people, for his culture and his hopes and fears are all here. It is a piece of powerful music, strong, positivity all wrapped up in that unique blend of haunting, erotic, soulful sounds that we all love. I cannot really pick out a favourite song. Just put in the the CD player and press play. This album deserves massive airplay and recognition. For me it is a timely release and serves as an evaluation for all who wisely invest their time listening to it. One of the best albums of 2006, pure and simple.
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