Taglieri, John - 2009 Lives Project [ep]


ARTIST: John Taglieri
ALBUM: Lives Project [ep]
LABEL: Leap Dog Music
YEAR: 2009


LINEUP: John Taglieri - all vocals, instruments

TRACK LISTING: 01 Intro * 02 Ferris Wheel * 03 Breathe * 04 Make A Mistake With Me * 05 The Lives Of Splattered Lives * 06 With You I Want To Be With * 07 Farewell * 08 Epilogue

RATING: image


John Taglieri has been a name that's been off the radar from Glory Daze for a few years. Not since the year 2000 has John been featured here. If some of you may recall, his album back then (1999's 'Leap Of Faith') impressed many of us with its radio friendly sound and modern rock stylings.

Ever since, John has been as busy as ever, with a couple of other album releases beyond LOF. In 2009, East Rutherford NJ's favourite son returns with a new set of music, but the album has a different and interesting concept to it, far different than you'll ever see or hear on a typical melodic rock production.

John has hooked up with writers Brad Whitley and Gil Gonzalez to create a story about two people: their interconnected lives, their journey and adventures along the way. Does it sound like a daytime soap opera with music put to it? Possibly, but I think the ideas that Taglieri, Whitley and Gonzalez have constructed go far beyond that.

The 'Lives' Project' will chronicle the lives of its two main protagnists Max Knight and Cate Alston through a series of four EP's, with accompanying books and graphic novels. Not only that, but each character will have their own MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and blog accounts, and the public will be able to interact with them and be part of their fan base. Interesting concept for sure.

The Songs

As for the music, the songs are connected with the story from beginning to end.

The first EP (if you exclude the 'Intro' and 'Epilogue' tracks) kicks off with the circus/carnival theme of 'Ferris Wheel' - lining up to Chapter One of the book. It's a very whimsical tune with a power pop delivery. Life goes round and round seems to be the message here, but in essence, while spinning around upon the ferris wheel, it's a moment in time for Max to reflect on his immediate past and what lies ahead. Unknowingly, he sees a woman staring across at him as he is lost in thought.

Chapter two is 'Breathe', and it brings into the picture Cate Alston. Unlucky in love, slightly claustrophobic in nature (hence the songtitle perhaps?), her life had become a collection of half finished and half hearted fulfillments, as the story says, she couldn't breathe in her own little world and she dreamed of finding a way out. Cate's friends end up taking her out to an amusement park.

The third installment 'Make A Mistake With Me', sees the accidental meeting of Max and Cate at the local bar where he works at. She was waiting for a blind date to turn up (he doesn't), just her luck. Instead to her amazement, Cate sees Max, recognising him as the chap she saw on the ferris wheel lost in thought.

The pair strike up a friendship and decide to tip their lives upside down by driving from New Jersey to California, essentially a road trip that they can make together, mistakes, warts and all. Max had planned on going anyway, it's just that he's picked up at travel buddy as a companion. This track has a bit of a happy go lucky vibe, sort of an Irish jig flavour, no doubt due to the bar setting this chapter is set in an Irish bar.

Chapter four sees the duo head off on their continental road trip. 'The Lives Of Splattered Flies' a testament to the long days on the road and the death toll of windscreen bound insects scattered across the miles. The song is an energetic modern rocker which captures the scene of both Max and Cate coming closer together as they move from destination to destination.

The fifth chapter sees old habits and behaviours rise up in both characters, particularly Max. Though 'With You I Want To Be' may sound melancholy, the book reads like a battle of wills between Max and Cate, as they find conflict with each other, resulting in an unfortunate and premature end to their continued journey through to California.

The sixth and last chapter of the first book is the sign-off 'Farewell'. Stuck in New Mexico, Cate decides to exit the California journey with Max due to their 'differences'. Instead, she opts to return to her childhood home of New Orleans while Max continues on to San Diego. Both have reached the point of no return with their joint travel plans and decide to farewell each other in the small town of Deming NM. They toast their farewell with a beer and two shots of tequila, and a celebratory song to boot.

In Summary

Though the trip and the first book may have ended, it appears the story of Max and Cate will continue on during 2009. I must say, I found the book (well PDF to be exact) to be a great read. Fast, well spaced and easy to read. To get the most out of the story and the songs, you do have to read the book.

They are designed as companion pieces and they fit well together. If you get the chance, pop along to the website www.livesproject.com and keep up to date with what's happening in Max and Cate's world. Just to be sure that we're all on the same page - Max and Cate are fictional characters.

They are not real people on a reality show, just so you don't get confused. A great idea from John Taglieri and his team. Stay tuned for the next episode.

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