Taylor John Williams: ‘Royals’ Single Review

The journey of Taylor John Williams on The Voice has already come to an end. However, he made his exit remarkable by entering the Billboard Hot 100 on the week he was eliminated. His version of “Royals” by Lorde outdid other competitors, as it achieved sales higher than other cover songs on the show. It’s not very easy to do a Lorde song, especially because the singer has a very distinct style. It was also a huge hit; thus, everyone already has it imprinted on his or her mind. Anyone who will attempt to do the song must be able to step up to the plate; otherwise, it can make or break his or her career.

Taylor John Williams was able to deliver. He managed to create his own twist to the iconic Lorde song. His feat was not too easy to achieve, as not all contestants from The Voice was able to hit the Hot 100. Even on past seasons, only notable performances was given the time, albeit short, on the said chart. Therefore, being able to enter it only means that the artist succeeded in leaving a mark on the show. It would be remembered that only the best voices made it to the chart, like Javier Colon, Cassadee Pope, Matthew Schuler, Melanie Martinez, Lindsay Pavao, Christina Grimmie, to name a few.

So, how exactly did Taylor John Williams, sometimes known as TJW, do with the song? Again, an artist does not only perform a well-known record and transform it. The artist must be able to come up with his or her own flavor to it, if he or she does not want to falter too quickly. Fortunately, TJW’s tone helped him create a notable version of “Royals.” His signature sound created a new dimension to the already multi-dimensional song. It is undeniable that the cover version has its own success, because it did not try to mimic nor surpass what Lorde did with the record. It only capitalized on what TJW is capable as an artist. The result was striking, albeit not entirely flawless.

The voice of TJW is very distinguishable, and it has a cool quality to it that the listener won’t get tired of repeating his songs. With “Royals,” he did what Lorde did not do in her version. TJW touched the playfulness of the song. The success of Lorde’s version relied on the hauntingly captivating voice of the singer; thus, it creates a dark and sultry version. With TJW, he exploited the bounce of the song, as if he plays on the melody to give a new meaning to it.

However, the main concern in TJW’s version is his seemingly exhausted approach to the fast verses. At times, the singer appears to be catching his own breath to run after the words. The best part of the song, though, is the last chorus where TJW poured his emotions on the more upbeat part of the song. In addition, the way he dug deep in the last few notes to hit the line “let me live that fantasy” is superiorly executed. He could have gone higher, but he did not. Instead, he showcased another dimension of his voice. It’s like, towards the end, Lorde joined him in spirit and in voice. And yes, Taylor John Williams was successful in it.