With a most openly expressed admiration for his mother, an array of all-organic instruments, and a warm raspiness in his dazzling voice, Jay Taylor brings a first-rate soul-blues song to the table. Hey Mama is the type of record whose sonorous intricacies and soul-bearing message will win the affection and appraisal of all those who give it a listen.
Jay Taylor’s expressive voice comes in right after 25 seconds of an euphonious electric guitar intro, “All of this time/ I’ve been trying to find/ The words to express my love/ 9 months of pain/ And hours of labor/ You still would never give up”, detailing the very delicate beginning of human life form: in a mother’s womb. It is fascinating how as a grown man, Jay is able to reflect back all the way to those 9 months, making it easy for the listener to relate and appreciate the gift of life.
Jay Taylor’s voice is so ample and substantious that he comfortably carries the weight of the song on it alone, no backing vocals throughout the first verse, no extra effects, no synthetic touch whatsoever, “Your love has carried me/ Throughout the years/ Oh so much blood sweat and tears/ So I sing you this song/ On your special day/ To let you know/ How I feel, Hey Mama”, with a virtuoso vibrato shining through at the end. Hey Mama parades the appeal of a past century where the correlation between the human voice and organic instruments was pivotal, thus making it an incredibly rare and extraordinary achievement to have been created in 2020. Maybe there’s hope for humanity after all.
Jay then proceeds to treat us with the chorus: “No one else can love me like you/ And I appreciate all that you do/ All of the children all across the world/ Let’s take today to spoil our number 1 girl/ Hey mama!” It’s worth talking about the fact that Jay acknowledges the uniqueness of the mother-son bond, wholeheartedly admitting that no other human being will be capable of loving him unconditionally. The beauty of Hey Mama also resides in its relevancy all year-round. It doesn’t have to be Mother’s Day for you to be grateful to this amazing human being you owe your life to. Maybe send her the link to Jay Taylor’s song?
And if you thought Jay Taylor couldn’t impress you more, you’re wrong. He smartly built the narrative leading to the second verse, which hits harder than a cut onion: “So many times/ When your health would decline/ I never saw you complain mama/ So now when I go/ In this cold cold world/ I now know how to behave/ Hey mama”, now I’m crying. No one could have worded a mother’s self-sacrificing nature better. Jay Taylor then beautifully completes the song with a final message that shows his mother’s legacy through his own behavior towards his wife: “Now I’m a man/ With a wife of my own/ I treat her just like my queen”.
We have to shout out the exceptional instruments as well that emphasized the song’s message: the lovely trumpets, the assertive drums, the sneaky, gorgeous piano, the intermittent organ, and of course the electric guitar. The mixing and mastering was also done at a first-class rate, with all vocals balanced, with the layered hook done masterfully well, and an overall soothing feeling omnipresent throughout each second of the 3 minutes.
Review by Mariana Berdianu
Blue Rhymez Entertainment ©2020