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I have done everything in my power to like this CD. I’ve listened to it with friends, and laughed as every musician in the room mocked its endless display of cheesy guitar riffing. I have listened to it alone, and been creeped out by Taylor’s atonal whining. I’ve listened to it with headphones on, and been haunted by the echo of every inane lyric. Each time, all I could think was, “This is the man I worshiped during my teen years?” At 14, I didn’t expect much from a Duran Duran LP, as long as John Taylor looked good on the cover. As band members gradually defected, it dawned on me that the magic of Rio would never be matched, but I never envisioned that Taylor’s first full-length solo effort would prove he’s about as talented as a bag of dirt. Although a proficient bass player, he’s hardly a profound wordsmith: “I’m sad, I’m sad/I’m sad and I want my dad, I want my dad.” Sounds like Hop on Pop, huh? You’d think someone—girlfriend, producer, drinking buddy, even his trashy ex-wife—could have confessed, “John, maybe that ‘dad’ lyric isn’t the way to go.” In “Losing You,” an irritating homage to his latest lost girlfriend, Taylor addresses his beloved as “lady”; in the ’90s, men should leave that to Kenny Rogers’ next comeback tour. All the effects, backup singers, and guest musicians (including Steve

Jones) he can muster can’t conceal Taylor’s incompetence. Harsh, I know, but I’ve learned that few men can live up to my expectations—no matter how low they may be.—Elisa Nader