Shutter 16 had the pleasure of getting a first listen to local singer/songwriter/guitarist Pam Taylor’s new album, Steal Your Heart and, in short, it’s great. We’ve previously had the pleasure of hearing, and reviewing, the first single off the album, “Squeeze Me,” and I’m pleased to say that what I stated in that review about the upcoming album proved to be true. It’s just as good as anticipated.
The most striking, and wonderful, aspect of Steal Your Heart is the incredible range that Pam and her band demonstrate musically. Everything from southern rock (“House of Cards”) to country (“Make You Mine”) to down and dirty swinging blues (“It Ain’t Right”) is represented here. A full range of emotions is covered on Steal Your Heart as well, from the powerfully moving ballad, “Already Alright,” which has some of the album’s best guitar work, to the upbeat rhythms and happy guitar tones of “Tangled Up.” Pam doesn’t abandon the blues though, and her always excellent original blues compositions shine just as bright here as well. When you listen to the album in total, one can hear the evolution of the blues into rock, southern rock, and beyond in Pam’s playing, which smartly mirrors the real life historic transition that the blues, as a genre, has made, as well as inspired, over the years. It’s also metaphoric to Pam’s own evolution musically and personally over the years. Steal Your Heart encapsulates what a consummate blues to rock to country and back again album should be. All in all, it’s a great personal statement of love for all three genres.
“Hot Mess was all about me being a hot mess!” exclaims Pam in her recent IndieGoGo video for the new album. “These songs (referring to the new album) are filled with love and healing messages and positive vibes…for you. I write these songs for you.”
Such sentiments could be considered trite, but on Steal Your Heart, the songs are so genuine that they are anything but. This is perhaps most evident on the album in “Mountain,” another of the album’s standout tracks. “The Rain Song,” is another track that, even though it’s steeped in some soggy-boggy blues, is so moving that its gospel-like call for redemption is downright rapturous. The joy here, and throughout the album, is palpable.
Steal Your Heart meets all the criteria for a great album. It’s moving, accomplished, and uplifting while remaining grounded and honest with its autobiographical nature. Pam’s story has been an inspiring one thus far. I can’t wait to see where it takes her next, musically and professionally.
Photos by Garin Hyde/Hydeography
Pam is currently playing many shows locally around the Carolinas. Dates and appearances are available at her website