Monday, July 27, 2009

Album of the Day #161: JT - James Taylor

Artist: James Taylor

Title: JT
Label: Columbia
Year: 1977
Songs: Your Smiling Face/There We Are/Honey Don't Leave L.A.*/Another Grey Morning/Bartender's Blues/Secret O' Life/Handy Man**/I Was Only Telling A Lie/Looking For Love On Broadway/Terra Nova^/Traffic Jam/If I Keep My Heart Out Of Sight
Written by: James Taylor, except *Danny Kortchmar, **Otis Blackwell & Jimmy Jones and ^James Taylor & Carly Simon
Produced by: Peter Asher
Thoughts: With the singer/songwriter fad on the wane by 1977, it was pretty obvious that James Taylor was going to be the one who would persevere and survive. This was obviously because he is such a versatile singer and JT certainly shows it.
JT was his last immensely successful record (and of course he still keeps making them), spawning three hits and filled to the brim with good album tracks. Not one of these songs are filler (OK, "Traffic Jam" probably didn't take a whole lot of thought, but it's too cool to throw out). It's a fantastic record and I find that songs like "Bartender's Blues", "Terra Nova" (with then-wife Carly Simon) and "There We Are" among some of his stuff. The rockers on the record sound very genuine, especially with Kootch's awesome "Honey Don't Leave L.A." What I mean by 'genuine' of course is that JT always sounds completely in his zone when he's doing the softer stuff like "Secret O' Life" and "If I Leave My Heart Out Of Sight", but when that guitar intro for "Your Smiling Face" comes on, you know that this guy could really knock your socks off for forty straight minutes if he wanted to. (Yes, I know that intro has to be Kootch playing but JT's singing steals the show.)
My conclusion is that this is an awesome record and easy to recommend.

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