There are some things that come across my desk that are just not in my wheelhouse. At my core, I’m mostly a rock, metal, industrial guy but I love all music and sometimes I’m introduced to bands and artists that just compel me to write despite my limited knowledge of some genres. KaiL Baxley is one such artist that moved me to open up my ears and stretch my typing fingers when his upcoming second album, A Light That Never Dies, arrived at my digital desk.
Soulful and beautiful with lush arrangements and a mix of genres which keep the music honest, fresh, and compelling, KaiL Baxley truly is an artist like no other. And whether he’s mixing Southern Soul with Hip-Hop or R&B with Indie Rock, A Light That Never Dies truly is an album like no other.
The title track and opener is prolific and moving while “Mr. Downtown” has got horns movin’ and groovin’ accented by a killer flute solo (No lie!) and harmonica flourishes bringing to mind some of the great soul records of the ’70’s (Think Curtis Mayfield, Isaac Hayes). Meanwhile, “Tell The Falling Sun” is a soulful ballad that John Mayer wishes he could write while “Owe” gets real serious with an inspired acoustic guitar and a haunting string arrangement which builds during the outro.
Throughout the album, though, it’s Baxley’s voice and subtle guitar strokes which really steal the show. His smooth falsetto will take your breath away during “Morning Light” and even moreso when layered with a choir and overdubbed during the hymn-like “Mirrors Of Paradise”. Elsewhere, he presents a new PMA anthem on “Better FeelIN’ Better” and creates the perfect indie-rock blues jam on “Troubled Souls”.