Terms Of Surrender (LP)

Hiss Golden Messenger


Amoeba Review


MC Taylor continues his prolific run, annually cranking out one solid folk rock collection after another. Terms of Surrender is his 2019 edition, a collection of ten songs that ruminate on hard living and bad circumstance that always seem to have a tinge of optimism and endurance, a little sunlight peeking through the clouds. There’s also Taylor’s uncannily Bob Dylan-esque croon giving gravitas to these well-worn sentiments. Nowhere is this more apparent than on “I Need A Teacher,” where a jaunty, soulful template is transformed into a desperate plea against public education cuts in his native North Carolina. Taylor’s voice and songwriting are not the only stars of this record, equal praise must be given to the production as well. This especially true for “Cat’s Eye Blue,” a ballad that uses negative space beautifully, where production quirks turn a piano, distant organ, and almost imperceptible guitar plucks into a cathedral of ambiance that resembles something that might’ve appeared on Bon Iver’s much heralded eponymous record. There’s not much musical ground on Terms of Surrender that Taylor hasn’t previously tread somewhere along the way, but it’s the remarkable consistency with which Hiss Golden Messenger delivers on every album that makes each one so rewarding. Terms of Surrender is no exception.

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