Whitney Tai has a unique ability to make your heart stop and your stomach knot –the feeling you get just before you cry. You can’t listen to one of her songs without feeling, deeply. Which is why I have been following her for over three years, marveling at each new song she releases. During that time I have watched her talent grow and develop exponentially as if some creative force inside her is unchained a little more with every song she delivers. That creative force is now in full cry with the release of “The Cure”.
Tai starts low and slow in a voice that is part seduction, part child, part scalpel, floating on a simple, heartbreaking piano riff with an ominous keyboard strum beneath it. She adds a soft tom-tom beat – a heartbeat, really – while she draws you in with the anxious, pleading lyrics – Why you always bringing me down While I push you up? – that mount in pain and power until they burst forth in full band mode – Don’t push me down Don’t bring me down she demands as the drums thunder, the guitar howls, the piano pounds.
When the chorus moves on, a razor-sharp rock guitar note screams out, punctuating her demand as the song moves into hard rock territory and then comes back down to earth, to the child, to the seduction, to the scalpel. And you are drained.
“The Cure” feels like it condenses a lifetime of pain and determination into 3 minutes and 44 seconds of chorus and verse. And it does. She can walk the cutting edge of pop and indie without sacrificing emotional honesty because of the pain of losing the one person who always encouraged her to pursue her creative passions. The pain is honest, the words come from within. That loss led to severe anxiety, depression and weight loss and desperation. But during this dark period, Tai learned to channel her feelings into songs, visual art, and poems in a life of performing
“The Cure” is a stunning work of both poetic and musical art that transcends anything she has done, which is considerable given Tai’s body of work. It also brings together her multiple skills in design. An architect by training and profession, everything she does — her costumes, makeup, photography, poetry, videos, and music, is done with powerful, impeccable design. Tai has always been the whole package, but with “The Cure” the package has become far more than the sum of her abilities. It is the sheerest form of musical art. As she sings in the chorus, Look at me now – when you do what you see is one of our time’s superb musical talents.
“The Cure” belongs on your playlist and in your headphones.
Whitney Tai https://www.whitneytaimusic.com/
“The Cure”, released 2019 is available on all music platforms
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