Taxi Taxi is Terence Bernardo—a guy who can’t stop playing producer. When he’s not recording for himself, he’s sound designing for theater and television, in addition to producing for other groups. Of course, three years after its initial inception, Bernardo finally gets to see Maps and Legends—Taxi Taxi’s debut—come into light. Is it a groundbreaking LP that will redefine the course of indie-pop for the next five years? No … but it’s still pretty fun. Often, he rides by on songs that are merely good—not great. The accordion-driven “Nakano” and the moody “X Marks the Spot” are both pretty good, but nothing you’ll remember a year from now. Yet when Bernardo focuses in on something, he is able to pull out some real gems. The title track is your high school piano teacher on a bottle full of uppers, rewiring Richard Cheese bombast into infectious pop confetti. The minor key acoustic ballad “Anna” is also a pitch-perfect lament, using animal imagery to depict a relationship in sharp decline (with a few acid zingers thrown in for fun, particularly with the line “your enemies change / but your friends won’t last”). These flashes of inspiration hint at much better things to come, but it’s Bernardo’s focus on a particular idea that will eventually earn him the title of truly great instead of merely good.
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// Notes from the Road
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