The Lost Album


Lewis Taylor's legendary magnum opus: The Lost Album. The intended follow-up to his first album but Island rejected it for fear of "confusing" the marketplace and its conception of Lewis as a soul artist. It's a breezy sunset masterpiece. The genesis of this incredible record needs unpicking a bit. Lewis stopped promoting the first album after a year and went home to record a completely different record that was the most un-R&B album you could probably ever hear. Thankfully, Lewis and longtime partner Sabina Smyth revisited the scrapped demo tracks in 2003. They decided to re-arrange, re-record and then self-release them. So, it was that the brand-new version of The Lost Album finally dropped in late 2004. The Lost Album was a fully 50/50 collaboration between Lewis and Smyth. It's not straight up "soul music" in the vein of his previous work. Yet, in its perfectly formed suite of one dozen songs, The Lost Album is dripping in soul. It features deep, fresh imprints on well-loved, accessible sounds. It's a proper '70s style double album. Deep orchestral opener "Lost" is a sublime, harp-laced, string drenched gem, a cinematic, melancholic Axelrod-esque mini-epic. Written by Smyth, it evokes Donny Hathaway's celestial "I Love The Lord, He Heard My Cry" from Extensions Of A Man. The only problem is the brief 90 seconds running time. It segues into the classic Brian Wilson-meets-power-pop-rock splendor of "Listen Here" which, with its outstanding extended harp-licked beatless intro, sounds like the younger cousin to Boston's "More Than A Feeling". You then drift into the ringing guitars of classic '70s rock anthem "Hide Your Heart Away". A new version of the heart-stopping, shoulda-been-a-massive-pop-hit "Send Me An Angel" opens Side B before the arrival of "Leader of the Band". Soaring, piano-led Rundgren-esque power pop that makes the hairs on the back of your next stand on end. The simple jangly brilliance meets experimental prog-rock of "Yeah" sounds like simultaneously like prime CSNY and late '90s Radiohead. Downlifting stunner "Please Help Me If You Can" and the warm textures and brilliant atmospherics of goosebump-inducer "Let's Hope Nobody Finds Us" are reminiscent of The Beach Boys' Holland. Closing out this remarkable side of music, the accidentally Balearic "New Morning". The final side opens with the vaguely Beatlesesque "Say I Love You". It's just classic, soaring pop-rock songwriting. The sassy, Stonesy swagger of "See My Way" injects enough rock n' roll attitude to compensate for the rest of record's peace-loving, AOR sun-dappled vibe. Album closer, "One More Mystery" comes on initially like a baroque-pop George Harrison before piling crunching drums and screeching guitar solos. Mastered by Simon Francis. Cut by Cicely Balston precise cut for Alchemy at AIR Studios.