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daysliketheseDays Like These
John Taglieri

August 19, 2014
LeapDog Music

 


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John Taglieri has been releasing records for years. And whether it’s been under his own name, under the TAG moniker or as a collaboration with others, one thing has always stood strong: an honest and energetic delivery. If your looking for constant perfection or slickly filed songs through production, bells, whistles and other adornments, you’re barking up the wrong tree. John Taglieri’s music is a little raw, a little rough ’round the edges even, but for a large part that’s where its strength is situated. The passion, the energy and the honest delivery of every single word and every single note sends out a message to take life head on and make the best of it. John sings of ups and downs, of the journey we all experience in life. And when you listen to his songs, you don’t just believe it, you are reminded of those experiences. That’s why you connect and isn’t that what music and art are all about. That personal connection that makes you feel something or inspires you. If anything, that’s what John has always been able to accomplish through his music.

 

Summer of 2014 is here and so is John’s new release Days Like These. It’s an extended play containing six new songs. John’s previous release, Southern Paradise, touched the country-rock / roots-rock side of things a little more than we were used to but with Days Like These the energetic and passionate contemporary rock anthems are in full swing again. If you enjoy popular contemporary pop/rock such as Lifehouse, Goo Goo Dolls, Nine Days, Sister Hazel, Better Than Ezra with a slight classic vibe such as Bon Jovi, R.E.M. and Bryan Adams, you’ll be ecstatic with this new release. From the upbeat title track that opens the EP to the intriguing closer ‘Toasting The Man In The Moon’, Taglieri manages to capture and hold your attention. You go from pure fun to more reflective thoughts and from admiration to inspiration in just over 20 minutes time. If you can sit through this record without any of your body parts (in)voluntarily moving, you must be a robot.

 

John Taglieri is an acquired taste because while you can compare him musically to the previously mentioned bands and artists, his music doesn’t get carried away by a big production or by crystal clear vocals. Because that’s not what it’s about. Instead it is filled with life and character. For some of you, this might not be the right cup of tea, but for those of you who can look past it and make that connection, this record is going to be a special one. It’s real music and real emotion and all the ornaments are stripped away. Big radio and mainstream charts may like Christmas trees but there’s also beauty in a fir tree that weathers wind and rain and still is full of life. It may be a weird analogy but it’s the best way to describe what I’m trying to explain. Days Like These is filled with life experiences, with blood, sweat and tears and it gives an extra dimension to the songs that will allow you to make a strong connection if you are open to it.

 

The EP opens with the title track ‘Days Like These’. It’s probably the most radio friendly tune on the EP as it’s upbeat and allows for singing along quite well. It will come as no surprise that John chose this song as the lead single. The song came to fruition shortly after John heard that he was going to be a father. Maybe that’s why the energy and emotion fuel this song from start to finish. Parts of the song, primarily the chorus, sound reminiscent of Lifehouse’s ‘First Time’, which was a pretty big hit on the radio. So who knows, Taglieri could have radio success ahead of him here.

 

’Here For The Taking’ follows next. The powerful delivery and rich arrangement bear tribute to 90s artists like Bryan Adams. Taglieri, however, has the ability to use songs as a suit. In the end, songs are always going to sound like John Taglieri songs. The reason for that: from the first note to the last, he gives 100% and you really do hear that.

 

I was hoping that ‘Beautiful Tonight’ was going to be a little slower with maybe a subtle strings arrangement. However, it’s a sparky, mid-tempo, powerpop song. It’s one of those tracks you may not notice the first time through, but when you get to know the record you start wondering why you didn’t hear this the first time. “Stepping out from the shadows, coming back into the light” is a line that really spoke to me. It reminds me of something from my past. And this is representative for what John Taglieri does with most of his songs. All of a sudden you start to realize he’s speaking to you. Because his songs hold meaning and we are all looking for meaning in our lives.

 

‘Thin Air’ is one of the standout songs on this album. This song is carried by the arrangement and topped off by John’s vocals that soar high like an eagle. Who doesn’t recognize those moments between hope and despair?

 

John’s vocals match up with keys beautifully as is proven by ‘Finish Line’. There are many subtle changes in the arrangement that keep the song interesting throughout the whole thing. Also, Taglieri hints to his early release Leap of Faith and weaves it together with other lyrical references. I could imagine a live version with strings accompanying. One of my personal favorites.

 

The EP finishes strongs with an intriguing song. ‘Toasting The Man In The Moon’ doesn’t just have an awesome song title, it also is a song with a lot of drive and something of a classic John Taglieri sound. In both arrangement and vocals you can hear a superb balance between intensity and restraint. And above all, this is going to make a killer live song.

 

Days Like These is exactly what you’d hope for and expect from John Taglieri. It’s intense, full of character and doesn’t come with any false pretenses. It is what it is and it holds its own. To recount the previously used analogy: Days Like These is that beautiful, experienced fir tree that, despite and because of all its endurances, is still full of life, ready for whatever is coming next. Proud, strong and energetic, just like its creator.

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John Taglieri – Southern Paradise
2013
John Taglieri Southern Paradise CoverIt was only last year when we last heard from John Taglieri. He released the Lucky #9 EP containing upbeat rock songs. After touring the east coast and spending a lot of time in Florida entertaining the masses he now releases his next effort called “Southern Paradise”. The disc contains 6 songs that have that typical Taglieri signature though they steer away from his previous work slightly.

The EP opens with a positive attitude. The ‘nananana nananana hey hey hey’ jumps in right away on the title track. Southern Paradise is a testament to living with intent as the man himself would say. Where Taglieri was always known for his upbeat mix of powerpop and rock, or at least songs with a little bit of an edge, this song is smoother and more contemporary and the vocals provide most of the edge. With its tempo and summer holiday feel Southern Paradise is a perfect feel good song.

Then we hear When I Think About, which has a bit of a rootsy spice woven through its fabric. The rhythm in the verses builds up to the chorus perfectly and the chorus is pure gold. If only a couple of radio DJs would get their hands on this, it could take off quickly. The lyrics paint a picture of the good life, taking in all it has to offer and who doesn’t like that picture? And listen to the guitar solo roughly two thirds through the song!

On Down The Road Taglieri takes down the pace a little bit. This midtempo song has a very laidback feel and would probably appeal to fans of early Nine Days, Better Than Ezra and Matchbox Twenty. It wasn’t the song that stood out to me immediately but after a few listens I noticed the guitar work and the arrangement held a lot more to it than I noticed early on. Down The Road is a grower.

It’s You is another song where the pace is down a little bit. The lyrics are hommage to love, whether it is for a lover, a friend, a higher power or a family member. To me, it personifies the feeling that someone can mean the world to you and whatever happens or wherever you go, you will always be able to hold on to that anchor. And lets be honest, aren’t we all suckers for a good love song?

Days of Night is a perfect example of John Taglieri’s songwriting style. Listen to the song and how it builds up and finds power in the exact right moments. The honesty and emotion just spring out of it. There are few artists as convincing as John Taglieri is in that department. The song is rootsier than we’re used from Taglieri, but the song doesn’t lose any of its power because of it.

The EP ends with Turn Around which is a bit of a departure in style. It really has a sort of americana taste to it. Toned down, with an acoustic basis and a campfire song feel to it, Turn Around fits as a closer for this record. Slowly, Taglieri builds up the song to a more intense chorus that tones down as it leads towards the next verse. It has the right mix of introspect and energy and leaves the listener satisfied.

“Southern Paradise” is an interesting new record by John Taglieri. The departure towards a more rootsy style doesn’t stand in the way of Taglieri’s passion and energy and therefore it will appeal to his fans immediately. It might also opens up his catalogue for new fans who haven’t yet heard of his infectious songs. Because the songs come off a little smoother and less edgy than before, radio stations might be quicker to pick up on them and who knows what that could lead to. When I Think About and Days of Night would make excellent radio singles and I wouldn’t be surprised to hear one of these songs in a movie one day. John Taglieri keeps doing what he’s best at, writing infectious songs with strong choruses and a real joie de vivre.

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John Taglieri – Lucky #9
(April 17, 2012 – Leap Dog Music)

Everyone probably knows the feeling that music can be so familiar, so safe, that it almost feels like a home to you. A place you can hide in or that can take you away from the world. I’m sure everyone has at least one artist or band, or at least an album or a song that has that effect on them. For me that is true with John Taglieri’s music.

Because of all the honest passion and endless energy John weaves in his songs it always gets me going again. After I listen to his songs I have the energy to get on my feet and do all those things that I’ve been putting off. And I feel like there is nothing I cannot do. To quote the legendary Yoda: “Do or do not. There is no try!” This music is my Yoda.

On Lucky #9 Taglieri spins tales of love and frustration, anger and commitment. He takes you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions and issues that range from anger in the edgy rocker ‘Losing Me‘ to betrayal in the cleverly composed ‘Never Knew‘ to absolute commitment in ‘Without You‘ which starts out acoustic and evolves into an powerful pop anthem testament to love.

On ‘Dying Alive‘ John Taglieri pulls out all the stops to describe how much love can mean and how much it can hurt if you feel like it’s slipping away. Listen to the powerful emotion in the bridge. That is classic John Taglieri who can wear a song like other people wear clothes. The EP continues with an uptempo semi-acoustic song called ‘Make Me Believe‘ which is somewhere in the middle of what Sister Hazel, Gin Blossoms and Nine Days used to send into the world, yet Taglieri still manages to make it sound like John Taglieri in the first place. And since we all need someone to make us believe in love, this song is for everyone. When we near the end of this EP we hear an intro that is reminiscent of Tracy Chapman’s self-titled album. The uplifting melody combined with the message of taking action after realizing you don’t have to put your life on halt for someone else is inspiring.

John Taglieri is an honest musician who writes songs that everyone can relate to. The music isn’t pretentious, instead it is full of passion, energy and honesty. The songs on Lucky #9, at times are a little rough around the edges and the EP doesn’t have a fancy production, but that’s exactly what these songs need. Taglieri is a pure artist that writes pure and honest songs and we need them to sound that way too. Which is exactly what we got. Lucky #9 is yet another admirable release by an independent musician who knows what he does best. And trust me, when he visits a town nearby you, don’t hesitate, go to his show. It’s a ton of fun and you get to hear these songs really come to life.

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Long time Inner Ear Media favorite, John Taglieri is working on another musical endeavor. His latest release, under the TAG-moniker, was a reworking of older songs and some fresh additions called Foreward. Currently John and his musical co-conspirators are working on a new release called Lucky #9.

For those of you who know about John and his extensive list of accomplishments as an independent musician, it won’t come as a surprise that luck doesn’t have too much to do with it. Time after time John Taglieri / TAG releases have been solid releases with catchy, modern rock-influenced pop songs with a certain edge.The keywords to describe the music would be energetic, passionate and full of life, which you could say is a reflection of John’s personality. And this is why his songs always come across. The songs have an honesty and believability to them that adds to their quality.

The first track for Lucky #9 is currently finished and upon first listen, the song has the familiar Taglieri-sound, perhaps with a little more depth in the musical arrangement compared to the songs on the previous TAG release. John’s ability to dive right into a song and bring on all his passion and energy comes out very effectively in Losing Me.

 

Listen here for a a short preview of the song:

Don’t forget to check out John Taglieri & TAG on the web:
http://www.johntaglieri.com
http://www.facebook.com/JohnTaglieriMusic
http://www.facebook.com/TagTheBand

John often has fun updates from the studio and from his many tour dates/locations and there’s all the information you might want to find out more about the man and his music.

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TAG – FOREWARD
November 16, 2010

Over the years, John Taglieri released album after album as a solo artist. His work didn’t remain unnoticed as he shared stage with big names in the popular music scene and was nominated for many prestigious awards, winning several of those. Apart from being a successful independent musician and songwriter, Taglieri is also known for his diversity and creativity. Unlike many bands and musicians he has never been afraid to take a leap of faith and try something new. Musically he knows his strengths and musically he has a strong basis to work from. But the way he has approached his musical projects over the years has varied from time to time. From full-length albums to EP projects to combining his music with graphics and literature, you name it, John Taglieri did it.

His most recent project was a collaboration with Gil Gonzalez, a project called “LiVES” which combined short music albums with short stories/novels. Many of the songs from those EPs ended up on the new TAG album “FOREWARD”. But even if you’ve heard the LiVES EPs, you should not be disappointed, because even though the songs were written and recorded before, they sound a whole lot different on this new album.

“FOREWARD” can, and should, be judged as a debut album. While John Taglieri played with Brad Whitley & Tom Darby before, this is now really a new project, a real band project and it sounds as such. With the addition of bassist Dave Willard and with Rob Jackson on drums and percussion there’s a more complete and even more energetic sound that is both honest and exciting. While these songs were quite convincing on the “LiVES” albums these new versions are better layered, better balanced and frankly, they literally just rock more.

The added energy and musicality makes these songs stand out more. The infectious Breathe and the pointy Make A Mistake With Me are excellent candidates for radio singles and the uptempo Ghost makes for an energetic rock piece that can do wonders on stage to energize the crowd. And include splendid rock anthems like The Lives of Splattered Flies and With You I Want To Be and you have a fairly complete debut album. The songs belong with one another, the original theme tying them together, while there’s new fire, new life to the music. And it’s not just the songs that fit together, also the band members show they have a great feel for each other’s talents and work together like a well-oiled machine.

“FOREWARD” is a more than solid debut for this newly formed band. The individual band members may be experienced but for playing together this is a new venture. If they do this as well as their first album together, there is no need to worry. Musically it’s tight, it’s energetic and most importantly it’s interesting. You want to keep listening to this. The album is capped off with a nice cover of Incubus’ Drive, which fits perfectly thematically. Also, musically it doesn’t stray too far from what TAG shows on the album. I’m not usually a fan of covers and this version is by no means the original, but thankfully it’s not just a copy of the original song, TAG tried to make the song their own and if you didn’t know it was a cover, they might just have fooled you there.

All in all, good debut, solid performance, strong songs, a few exceptional songs. TAG is off to a good start and with this enthusiasm, energy and power, there is bound to be a lot more in store for these guys. If you enjoy honest and catchy rock & roll then I can recommend “FOREWARD”.

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LiVES (Volume II)
Novel by Gil Gonzalez

Lives II novel by Gil Gonzalez

After the first novel, where we were introduced to Max and Cate, the story ended with the two of them going their seperate ways. The story continues in the second volume where we will follow both Max & Cate’s adventures as they develop themselves and find their way. Will they stay apart? Will they get back together? Max ended up in California while Cate went back to Louisiana. There are many miles between them, but.. what will happen next?

You will find out more if you pick up a copy of the second volume of The Lives Project, including the accompanying EP by John Taglieri. See how the story of Max and Cate continues and how their lives may or may not intersect again. Go to http://www.thelivesproject.com for more information and to purchase this unique project!

Now lets take a closer look at the novel. What struck me most in the first novel was the freshness and real-life-style of writing. The story was written like it was going on right in front of you. At first I wasn’t really sure if it was a story I could lose myself in, but because you easily relate to the characters and their feelings and because it feels so actual, so current, so right in front of you, you start feeling like you’re part of the adventure.

The pace in part II is a little slower, and you get to learn more about certain character traits and histories of the main characters of this story. We meet new people in this novel and while we learn more about the characters, the characters learn more about themselves also. Gil Gonzalez describes these processes of learning to know oneself and figuring out what actions to take because of that very clearly and accurately. You don’t really feel like you are the main character but you feel like you’re the bystander, or even the friend that is seeing it all. This is what makes this story so intriguing, because it all feels so close and real. It’s a story that could be happening right now, to anyone, anywhere.

Just like volume I, volume II is another good story, accompanied by well-chosen and well-written music, that together makes a unique project, which will continue later this year. Be sure to pick up your copies of both the book and the EP and learn about Max & Cate as their adventure is far from over. Get to know the characters, get to know the project, get to know the people behind it. And I promise you, it is time well spent!

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John Taglieri is posting regular updates on the process of the recording and coming-together-of the EP part of the third volume of The Lives Project. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Myspace and TheLivesProject.Com to get the latest updates on how the work is progressing. And just like the first two volumes, the third will also be accompanied by a short novel by Gil Gonzalez. The story of Max & Cate will continue later this year!

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