Over-produced, uninventive music with hackneyed lyrics and pedestrian vocals, singer-songwriter Taylor Baggott’s EP Pick Me Up is a pop-schlock recording of which one quickly grows weary. Listening to Pick Me Up, you practically hear producers Ryan Liestman and Michael Bland contriving, We need something attention-getting for this song, and coming up with the ridiculous, percolating synth that couldn’t be anymore out of place. There’s an acoustic guitar groove you’ve heard a hundred times before, that silly synth, and a stock vocal fraught with paint-by-number inflections of artificial cheer.
And the words: “If I saw on the street her, then I’d pick her up, I’d pick her up/ If she saw me on the street, she would pick me up, she’d pick me up/ If I saw you on the street, I would pick you up, I’d pick you up/ If you saw me on the street, you’d pick me, you’d pick me up.” Well, enough said about that. Except to acknowledge that the inanity goes on and on. As does the slick, studio chicanery. “Be With You” is a clutter of overbearing synth and simplistic drumming with a tinkling banjo and, again, an unconvincing wholly dispensable vocal musing about a guy who “should be probably at that show, shaking hands and making fans” but instead wants to be with his girlfriend.
Taylor Baggott gets help writing those songs from Andrew Crowley, Ryan Liestman (guitar, keys, synth) and Michael Bland (bass, drums, synth). Pitching in on pedal steel and banjo is Andy Dee. Ryan Liestman and Michael Bland also lend a sensible writing hand for “Makes 1.” Frankly, Taylor Baggott does reasonably well by himself, sending up Facebook with the humorous, country-swing cut “Technological Relationship.” The laid-back, walking bass, rolling honky-tonk piano, the vocal sounding much less canned and Liestman and Bland taking a break of overkill producing. And with “Cooper,” a nicely jaunty number about his best little four-legged friend who, like all dogs “chews my socks and drinks from the bowl.” There is plenty good reason to believe that left entirely to his own blue-grass influenced devices, instead of round-pegged into a square hole of pop, this might not have been a half-bad single for Taylor Baggott. As an EP, though, it is tiresome.
Photo courtesy Taylor Baggott