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JAMES TAYLOR One Man Band Hear Music (2007)

James Taylor

The Starbucks way of purchasing music may be catching. First Macca succumbed to the US café chain's music imprint, then Joni Mitchell, and now JT smells the coffee. Joni and James could probably do with the increased exposure and if it means you pick up a CD with your latte, so be it. There have to be new ways of marketing old man's music.

Recorded earlier this year, 'One Man Band' has the ambience of an intimate gig with Taylor's relaxed banter between songs. However, what is essentially a flick through his backpages will always emphasise that he ain't really done too much since the 1970's. Half of this album comes from that period.

However, this CD - immaculately performed and recorded - is a pleasant listen and a reaffirmation of Taylor's songwriting skills. And whilst those skills may have been at their peak nearly four decades ago - notably with the albums 'Sweet Baby James' and 'Mud Slide Slim' - there are a couple from 1991's career-revival 'New Moon Shine', 'Copperline' and 'The Frozen Man', to suggest that the embers still flicker.

This album will appeal to forty-somethings who grew up with James Taylor's music and might have even owned a couple of albums but never replaced them on CD. Good with a Brazilian medium roast, too, whilst checking your share prices. Just don't leave your bifocals at the checkout.


Review by David Randall

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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