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Taylor's Universe


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Taylor's Universe Artificial Joy album cover
3.68 | 24 ratings | 5 reviews | 38% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Work (4:41)
2. Artificial Joy (4:25)
3. Days Run Like Horses (7:02)
4. Atmosafear (7:04)
5. Laughter (7:01)
6. Telephone (4:59)
7. Fame (9:44)

Total Time 44:56

Line-up / Musicians

- Robin Taylor / keyboards, guitar, percussion, composer & arranger, production
- Carsten Sindvald / clarinet, saxophone
- Pierre Tassone / electric violin, violectra (3-5)
- Flemming Muus / fretless bass
- Klaus Thrane / drums

- Louise Nipper / vocals (4,5)
- Finn Olafsson / electric & acoustic guitars
- Michael Denner / guitar (4,7)
- Jakob Mygind / saxophone

Releases information

CD Marvel Of Beauty ‎- MOBCD 020 (2008, Denmark)

Digital album

Thanks to windhawk for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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TAYLOR'S UNIVERSE Artificial Joy ratings distribution

(24 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(38%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (25%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

TAYLOR'S UNIVERSE Artificial Joy reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Artificial Joy" is the second album issued in 2009 by Taylor's Universe, a band now really finding it's footing again following long time associate Karsten Vogel's extensive run with the band.

On this album Taylor and his collaborators take on a subtly more symphonic-tinged approach than on the last few albums, as well as incorporating some of the more challenging features from Taylor's solo works on a few occasions - unless my ears decieves me there's quite a few nods in the direction of one album in particular of those, namely November.

As always there's a few stellar tracks around, personally I found the brooding synths come symphonic with noisescapes inserted workout Days Run Like Horses to be the most intriguing of these, while energetic, quirky opener Work and the multi-segmented, brooding composition named Laughter are at about the same level of interest. The only number that didn't really trigger my interest was Atmosfear actually, a multi-segmented affair that became just a tad too segmented for these ears.

Still, all in all it's yet another high quality effort courtesy of Taylor & Friends, to be sought out by fans of highly melodic yet challenging instrumental progressive rock residing somewhere within the borderlines of jazzrock, art rock and symphonic prog.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars This 2009 TAYLOR'S UNIVERSE release is one of his more melodic and tamer albums that they've put out i'd say. That avant flavour is all but gone here. I didn't notice until after I wrote this review down on paper that it mentions in the liner notes that Robin used mellotron on it so i'll have to re-listen. Funny that he also mentions that he uses a variety of synthesizers, funny because on albums past he has noted "No synthesizers !". Times change right ? I would consider this as being in the Jazz / Fusion realm for the most part. It's weird but I like all the odd numbered songs the best.

"Work" sounds great early on with piano then it picks up before a minute before settling back again. Horns 2 minutes in and guitar after 3 minutes. "Artificial Joy" is one where the rhythm doesn't do a lot for me but when it kicks in with horns, keys and guitar i'm smiling. "Days Run Like Horses" opens with some atmosphere then drums and horns start to lead before 3 minutes. A calm 4 1/2 minutes in then it kicks back in after 5 1/2 minutes. Nice. "Atmosfear" opens with drums, organ, horns then guitar. It settles with bass and percussion just before 2 minutes. It kicks back in at 4 minutes with the guitar leading then horns 5 1/2 minutes in.

"Laughter" is a good one. It's melancholic with organ to start then we get horns before a minute. It kicks in with a full sound 2 minutes in. Female spoken words tell us a story. Funny stuff. Lots of laughter too. I like the calm 4 minutes in and some nice guitar before 6 1/2 minutes. "Telephone" has this beeping sound to start then the music kicks in with the horns playing over top. Keys 2 1/2 minutes in then the horns are back and more beeping sounds. Guitar lights it up 4 minutes in. "Fame" sounds great as the horns join in. The guitar replaces the horns. Nice. Horns are back and the guitar sounds really good before 4 minutes then the horns take over once again. An eerie atmosphere 5 minutes in as we get a very cool ending to this album.

I like "Return To Whatever" a little better and that one is a low 4 stars for me. So 3.5 stars it is. Both were released the same year but hey you can't go wrong with a TAYLOR'S UNIVERSE release.

Review by b_olariu
3 stars Artificial joy was taylor's Universe second album from 2009 and is another worthy album from his catalogue. Keeping almost same attitude like on Soundwall, but with some diffrent line up. Denner remaining to make aswell some excellent guitar parts on this album, but having a second guitarist from famosus danish prog band from the '70 Ache - Finn Olafsson and aswell aanother keybordist besides Robin. This album starts very well with Artificial Joy, very strong tune, maybe the best from here together with Atmosfear and a very intresting one Telephone. Solid musicianship again, intresting ideas overall, but it seams to me that in some parts he repet himself , I mean Robin, because he compose all the music, nothing is bad here but to same arrangements. Anyway, I like what I've heared here, the guitars, horns,keyboards and the voice of Louise Nipper on Laugheter, but it doesn't reach the beauty of Soundwall who really was a wall of sound of the highest calibre. I like aswell the cover art. 3 rounded to 3.5 in some places.
Review by kev rowland
4 stars 'Artificial Joy' was the second album from Taylor's Universe in 2009, and while the line-up is similar to the one that appeared on 'Return To Whatever' of course there are some changes. Although the comment appears in the booklet 'For maximum effect, play it loud!', and Michael Denner is again on hand this isn't nearly as rocky as one may imagine from that comment. There are elements, especially in Michael's tortured solo in "Atmosfear", where progressive elements stand out but for each of these there are also the more restrained layerings I have come to expect. Robin's keyboards are at the heart and in many ways this is the perfect follow-on to the previous album although with not quite as much edge and excitement.

It is an extremely cohesive album, with some wonderful clarinet solos and great interaction with the sax. One of the huge strengths of Taylor is that he brings together musicians and instruments in a way that totally makes sense. The previous album to this one featured violin as a foil against the sax, here it is a clarinet. Denner played on six out of seven tracks on the previous album yet here has a much smaller role allowing Taylor the opportunity to play some guitar of his own. Robin is very much a composer, a bandleader and arranger, who has a vision for each album and yet again this is one that is well worth discovering.

Latest members reviews

4 stars This is an album of high quality music ,not at all a comercial one and it's offering some serious moments of pure enchantment in terms of innovative rhythms,ideas and musical soundscapes exposed!Robin Taylor is an extremelly talented musician with a wide range of expression and a totally diffe ... (read more)

Report this review (#273764) | Posted by Ovidiu | Tuesday, March 23, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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