GLORIA TAYLOR: MUCH LIKE FALLING DOWN


Gloria Ann Taylor: World That’s Not Real
From 7″ single (Selector Sound, 197?)

Gloria Taylor: Deep Inside You
From 7″ single (Columbia, 1973)

Speaking of songs that totally throw me, “World That’s Not Real” is one of the more unsettling songs I’ve ever sat with, ever since I heard it off Matthew Africa’s blog. I don’t even mean lyrically, though, as you can probably guess, it’s not a happy tune. Just listen to how this song unfolds – it’s creepy and ominous from jump and only goes further into darker places when Taylor’s piercing vocals coming in. But just wait until the song reaches :53 or so – there’s that crazy chord that sounds like Death’s ringtone that comes in out of nowhere and the composition shifts, inexplicably, into a slightly happier feel which is then abetted by the reverbed, over-dubbed vocals around 1:30 but then Taylor goes back into the “world that’s not real” chorus and for the remainder of the song, it just teeters in this uncomfortable space, balanced above the abyss. At no point does the song ever give over to anything resembling “comfort” and as it fades, it just leaves you out there, in the twilight.

The same ambiguity also surrounds “Deep Inside You,” which bears more than a loose resemblance. There’s a Selector Sound 7″ that has both songs on the same disc (mine has “Music”) though “Deep Inside You” also appeared on a Columbia promo 7″ and this holy grail private press disco EP. It’s a more driving song – with a more aggressive rhythm section and Taylor’s vocals are more forceful. But that distinctive reverb is still slathered everywhere here and overall, Taylor’s plaintive vocals are a close cousin to what she does on “World That’s Not Real.”

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