Singer-guitarist Colette Gschwind released her first record, Sometimes Patience, in 1994. A year later, she recorded this, its follow-up, with guitarist Dan Hayes, bassist Mark Malysa, drummer Brian Deutch, and keyboardist Andy Preynor, but it has taken her five years to get the product out. Produced by Gschwind and her bandmates Malysa and Hayes, Taste This is an easygoing folk record that has echos of Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez. The delay in its release means that the material here doesn't sound fresh -- ballads such as "Ten Miles Away," on which Gschwind sings, "I know you feel as I do" to a chirpy melody and croons about opening the "gate of your heart," and "Never Gonna Leave," a track with soothing background vocals and a flaccid electric guitar solo, are too weepy and sentimental.
Gschwind, who also delves into rock and blues on occasion, is better off on the moody number "She Thinks She Knows" and the spunky "Problem," which features hard-edged guitars and displaces the folk sound. In the five years that have passed since Gschwind recorded this material, she's recruited a new band that she's calling 1-800-Colette. It includes bassist Derek Poindexter, guitarist Eddie Soto, and drummer Brian Bretton, and is the band that currently backs her for live performances. It also plays a live, eight-minute version of "Airhead," which was recorded at WRUW-FM/91.1. Unlike the studio version, which is also included on the album, the live rendition of "Airhead" has a blues guitar riff that really resonates and a stirring vocal performance, both of which indicate Gschwind made the right decision to move on with new players.