One sign that you’ve gotten your grubby little hands on a truly great new album is the repeating occurrence of finding a brand new favorite song just about every time you listen to a project. Steve Taylor & The Perfect Foil’s Goliath is just such a creatively renewable artistic energy.
The first listen-through presented closer “Comedian,” which is a riddle of a lyric that finds veteran singer/songwriter Steve Taylor vocalizing a little like The National’s Matt Berninger. The song appears to detail unintentional funnies and foibles of modern day Christianity. However, just what Taylor is trying to pinpoint isn’t entirely clear. These saints “gave up God for Lent and liked it/Declared civilian war, no one’s relented/No pun intended.” It’s as fascinating as it is confusing, yet no less enjoyable. Built upon a lightly thumping bass groove, augmented by somber piano chords, this is a great song -- whatever it’s actually about.
“Comedian” was the song that drew first blood, so to speak, until “A Life Preserved” (a song that actually predates the formation of A Perfect Foil) was further dissected. “Gratitude’s too cheap a word for all you’ve reassembled,” Taylor sings in this sort of lightly veiled praise and worship song. Those that comprehend “Amazing Grace” and take it personally, will immediately relate to this drowning man’s appreciative ode.
While “Rubberneck” doesn’t pack the same emotional punch of either “Comedian” or “A Life Preserved,” it’s sarcastic (as only Taylor can dish out sarcasm) perspective on our evasively snooping social media/internet culture will ring true with each and every smart phone owner and/or TMZ regular reader. This is a fast, punky romp filled with angry words about how privacy is a principle slowly going the way of the buffalo.
Upon first listen, “Moonshot” sounded a little like a contemporary version of the Noah and the ark story. It tells of a guy building a rocket in his backyard, much to the derision of his neighbors. Yet this funky, Tom Tom Club-like dance groove begins to sound a little more like one person attempting to desperately moon shot for their Warhol-promised 15 minutes of fame. This person is looking to save humanity, in fact. There’s even one hilarious double-entendre from Taylor: “It’ll spell out my name where the sun don’t shine.”
It’s rare to find such intelligent rock from a Christian worldview. But then again, that’s always been Steve Taylor’s unique gift. Non-believers will enjoy it, but people of faith will have a double plus good time with this one.