Song of the Week – I Live On a Battlefield – Taylor Hicks

Song – “I Live On a Battlefield”

Artist – Taylor Hicks

Album – The Distance

Season – 5th

Place – 1st

This week I went about my song selection in a different way. This time, I picked the Idol first. You see, last week MJ posted a little tid bit about Taylor’s “big announcement” on Idol in one of the Headlines, and I wasn’t happy. I thought maybe they’d given him one of the remaining performance spots, and it’s IN MY OPINION that would be a huge waste of a spot. So I made a comment stating just that, and BAM!–the Taylor fans rallied against me. Looks like the “Soul Patrol” is alive and well people, so watch out!

I’m sorry Taylor fans, but I can’t lie about this: I simply do not like Taylor. I don’t like his bumbly, weird personality. I don’t like his “power-soul” singing style. But if we’re being honest–my negative feelings toward Taylor are most likely a result of my favorite Idol (It was Katharine at that moment in time)–ONCE AGAIN–making it all the way to the finale only to fall just short of nabbing the Idol crown. At the time, I just couldn’t comprehend who in the world was voting for this creepy, gray-haired guy. I know I’m being a little harsh on good ol’ Taylor, but I’m just telling it like it is. I was a kid when he was on Idol, and once I decided I didn’t like the guy, there was no coming back.

Six years have gone by, and although I’m still bewildered as to how he managed to win Idol, I’m not nearly as hateful and immature (hopefully). After receiving some backlash from my Taylor comment, I thought, “What better way to apologize to the mysterious Soul Patrol than picking a Taylor track for SOTW?” So my search for a Taylor song began. Not just any search either. I set out to please my critics and find a track that I actually enjoyed from the soul man himself.

I wouldn’t say it was easy, but after process of elimination, I went with “I Live On a Battlefield,” from Taylor’s most recent album The Distance. Even though it’s got a super old-school, throw-back vibe (couldn’t find a Taylor track that didn’t), something about it really stuck with me. I’m not a big lyrics person by any means, and I tend to let the music be the main factor when judging the quality of a song. (Maybe that’s why I love so many INSANELY ridiculous songs…) But I was immediately focused on the story of “Battlefield.” Taylor sings of a love so powerful it resulted in a war between two lovers, leaving one stranded on the battlefield, only to see the aftermath of their destructive relationship. And just because I connected with the lyrics, doesn’t mean the music isn’t great as well. There’s something about this particular track that seems more genuine to me than the other Taylor songs I previewed. I think sometimes Taylor gets lost in his “soul” music and comes off a little cheesy or “Michael McDonaldish” sounding. “I Live On A Battlefield” is anything but cheesy to me, and I wanted to do a little more research on the meaning behind the song–specifically for Taylor.

Well I guess I’m the big dummy, because after a quick Google search, I found out this song is quite old, and has been covered by many artists–most notably Diana Ross (I think…). Is that why this track turned out to be the one Taylor song I enjoy? Because it’s not actually a Taylor song? That may be the case, but it doesn’t take away from the fact Taylor does a great job with the song, and I really do have an appreciation for his talent. Taylor’s simply not my cup of tea…but come to think of it–I hate tea! And I doubt my preference will change anytime soon.

See ya next week! Speaking of–I’m on the hunt for a good r&b or hip-hop track from an Idol alum. Any good suggestions guys? Tweet me your thoughts/requests!

 

Check out a video of Taylor performing the song live and rockin’ it out with the band.

  • Anonymous

    I think Taylor’s one of those artists that’s just made for live. His recording is alright… but I really dug the live version. I would pay to see him live – not so much his recordings.

  • Anonymous

    Nick Lowe wrote that song in 1993 and has been a staple in Taylor’s concerts since the album came out in 2009. One of the best things for me about the song is that sizzling guitar solo by Doyle Bramhall II., a long standing member of Eric Clapton’s touring band, as was Taylor’s bass player for The Distance sessions, Nathan East. I don’t really get an old school vibe from it – it’s a modern blues tune and suits Taylor’s voice perfectly.

    Don’t feel bad if Taylor doesn’t float your boat. No musician appeals to everyone.  The reasons you didn’t like him are precisely the reasons I do. lol  It’s a shame tho that your disappointment about Kat not winning prejudiced your judgement about Taylor. I think that resentfulness stayed with a lot of Idol fans for years after than season was over. Idol tends to pit the contestants against each other long after the compeition is over, and that’s unfortunate. A lot of people miss out on a lot of good music that way.

  • Anonymous

    Hi, Nick – tunin’ in again.  Lol – I voted for Taylor – McPhee did nothing as a performer for me although her voice was/is very good.   Relatives of mine in the theater biz in New York met with her and a companion awhile ago and said, although attractive, a very bland personality – guess I was right.  Anyhow, dl’d some of Taylor’s stuff after AI, but actually never played it very much – some people are just better live and I think he’s one of them.

    Will buy this one, though – like it.  And like that live performance even better – would’ve been fun to have been there.

    Thanks for re-introducing me to one of my former Idols.  And keep up the great work – enjoying it very much.

  • http://twitter.com/ParleyBlueHenry ParleyBlueHenry

    After reading that , I have a feeling if you went to just one live show you would find your tea got a whole lot more drinkable. Try it.

  • Anonymous

    One of the best things for me about the song is that sizzling guitar solo by Doyle Bramhall II., a long standing member of Eric Clapton’s touring band,

    Oh well HELL. Do you know that CaseyJ has said that Doyle is his #1 influence? Honest. Casey said this so I now have every freakin’ song Doyle has ever done.  Green Eyed Girl, Problem Child, So You want it To Rain, Smokestack.

    F***F***

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carolyn-Sue/1380910973 Carolyn Sue

    It’s hard for me to imagine that there are people that don’t get Taylors music.
    But, then there are people music I don’t get either. Kat is one that I don’t get.
    Although, the men in the family liked her on Idol. But, I sure do love Taylor voice. Loved him from the first time I saw him on Idol.
    I love that he is doing Vegas as a Headliner. First Idol to do it.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve seen him live; he is an entertaining live performer when many are not!  I think I understand those who dislike him from his time on Idol.  I never thought Taylor was his schtick and still don’t:  it was a way to win a contest.  Better, it worked.  I take the man as a serious professiona.

  • Anonymous

    Gee, Umma thinking I might need to buy his album.

  • http://twitter.com/DeCoderGirl DeCoder

    You, sir, have a different musical taste than I and that means we must duel. 

  • Patricia Pomykal

    I love that song on the album and live for different reasons.  On the album I especially love the parts where he uses his falsetto voice towards the end.  He has only done that once in the live concerts.  A friend of mine said when she first heard it, those falsetto parts created a picture in her mind of a soldier being cut down by a bullet on the battlefield.  The song during live concerts always turns into a powerful rock song, with the additional treat of Taylor giving his musicians plenty of chances to solo.   

    The biggest objection I’ve always had to American Idol is the fact that it creates such strong dislikes of any other contestants except the personal favorite a viewer chooses to support.  It tends to create closed minds.  Chillj is correct, in  concert with his own band, Taylor is entertaining, personable, and very witty, but not as over the top as he was on Idol.  He has even stated that you have to create a character to grab attention on that show because a lot of people’s TVs don’t have excellent sound systems.

    I’m glad you found a song on The Distance that you can enjoy.  Thanks from this Taylor Hicks fan for featuring it as the song of the week.

    Isn’t music diversity great? :) 

  • Anonymous

    Another Taylor fan here. It was love at first note for me on Idol. Yes he is great live and where some folks think he looks old, in person he is very young looking. Hope he come somewhere within a few hours drive soon as I’d love to see him in person again. I guess I like performers as I’m also an Adam Lambert fan and he’s great live also.

  • Anonymous

    Ah, Nick, I think I love you now, and I forgive you for not liking Taylor. :) Thanks for  the great (well, sorta, in places anyway LOL) introduction to your pick for song of the week.

    Taylor had me from the minute he opened his mouth to sing “Change is Gonna Come” at his audition, and he never let me go through all those weeks of scorn from Simon (who finally admitted that Taylor did have a very nice voice).

    I didn’t like Kat then. I am really happy for her success in Smash now. REALLY enjoying that show!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for picking Taylors song and I think this is one of his most comtemporary songs that he has on his album. Love it.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ACXMFJNL4VFQDTXRZRJ2QZGTFU Kelly

    Taylor is the personification of soul. He is one of the very few idols who can be called a real artist. This song is intense and his interpretation is just amazing. There’s a real struggle in the song, that of a love gone wrong.

  • http://twitter.com/CapeLizard CapeLizard

    Taylor had me at hello! Thanks for featuring his song and for being open enough to give him another listen. I hope you can catch a live show someday-he’s an amazing performer! Everyone leaves with a smile on their face, and he is gracious enough to take pics and greet the fans afterwards. Soul Patrol is not only alive and well, but is growing with each performance. I admire all he does for charity too, which doesn’t always make the media headlines but makes a huge difference in many lives. Did you listen to Maybe You Should? Love that one…

  • Anonymous

    I love Maybe You Should, too. And one that gives me chills is the bonus track on The Distance that was only available at Target. Taylor is so good as ‘story’ songs, tender story songs…

    Anyway, I don’t know if many people have heard it, or if they like it as much as I do, but here it is for anyone who didn’t buy the Target album.

    “Indiscriminate Act of Kindness” (cover, written by Foy Vance)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54gS2pQ6VxM

  • Anonymous

    OMG yes! Indescriminate Act of Kindness was such a spriritual song… just takes me places that few songs do.  Esp the way Taylor interpreted it!  Since it only was in the Target version of The Distance, I bet a lot of people haven’t heard it…. a crime, because it’s unbelievable.

  • happyhexer

    I really like this song.  I may have to check out Taylor Hicks.  I haven’t been watching Idol for long, so I never saw Taylor’s season.

  • http://twitter.com/KariannHart Kariann Hart

    Nick, I didn’t read your original comment or you would have heard from me!  There are thousands of Taylor Hicks fans (also Soul Patrol) that don’t visit here.   I am glad that you have given this to us.

    happyhexer,  please do check out Taylor’s music.  As many say, his live performances are the best.  He connects with the audience the way a professional performer should He entertains his audience!