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Chip Taylor
The London Sessions Bootleg +
2000, Trainwreck

This two CD set is a fascinating career retrospective of songwriter Chip Taylor’s work. He’s best known for the sloppy party rocker "Wild Thing," but as this 25-song project reveals, his writing goes much deeper into the psyche than that frat rock anthem. One CD is called the electric half, and was recorded in London. It serves to highlight his angry side. Songs like "I Hate You Today" and "Holy Shit" are filled with plenty of venom. "Farmer’s Song" also includes plenty of stinging Neil Young-ish guitar sparks. The second disc is subtitled acoustic, and is a softer more reflective collection. Without a lot of variety among these 16 songs, they can sometimes begin to fade into the background like so much crackling from a campfire. But right in the middle, there’s a powerful duet with Lucinda Williams to escalate this gentle serenade into a temporary bonfire. Taylor is a cranky old one, that’s for sure, but he also has a sharp eye for his song subjects, which alone explains why he’s so respected by the Nashville songwriting community. —Dan MacIntosh

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