Man, I love Steve Taylor.
One of my earliest memories was camping outside Steve Taylor’s bus at a Christian music festival when I was about 5. In 3rd grade, I pasted multi-colored, geometric shapes cut out of construction paper to my school pencil box in attempt to make it look like Taylor’s suit on the On the Fritz album cover.
That modern day Kierkegaard shaped my development in ways I cannot even name. What was life like before Steve Taylor? Man, I don’t know.
I got my hands on a cassette tape of REX’s I Predict a Clone and it was the genesis point of my love for so many bands. Sixpence was beautiful and vulnerable. Fleming & John had a tenacity and fierceness that still floors me.
Then there was “Sin for a Season”. It wasn’t my favorite cover on the album, but it got my attention. Sonically, it was like a bucket of mud was dumped at my feet. Listening to it on cassette only exacerbated this.
This song made me work. I had to intentionally listen for the many layers of sounds. It was simultaneously hard and soft. It defied me and my expectations. Maybe that’s what made me love it all the more.
Listening to it today, I still hear all that mud. I still hear that softness. JM’s voice had a bit of that sarcasm so prominent in Taylor’s vocals. But there was also a sensitivity and a sadness in JM’s vocals that you don’t find with Taylor. It makes me aware of how tragic the lyrics really are.