Half Notes: James Taylor – Covers (2008)

Share this:

by S. Victor Aaron

James Taylor went through most of his career without putting together records that have a strong, overall theme to them. That’s changed of late: in 2006 there was a Christmas album and last year it was a live album with little accompaniment.

This time out, it’s an album of all covers covering tunes both common and obscure from Taylor’s lifetime, fittingly called Covers. For a guy who’s had hits with “You’ve Got A Friend,” “How Sweet It Is” and “Handy Man,” an album full of other people’s songs doesn’t seem like so out of character for Taylor, even if he’s a hall-of-fame songwriter himself. As such, Covers sits comfortably alongside just about every other Taylor release. Utilizing a crack band and mixing up R&B, blues and country with his soft rock, it’s your typical pleasant, well-performed album by Taylor that won’t bowl anyone over but it’s warm and solid from beginning to end. Highlights are “Wichita Lineman,” “Hound Dog” and Leonard Cohen’s “Suzanne,” which Taylor makes wholly his own. We still haven’t seen a James Taylor album of new originals since 2002’s October Road, but at least we know JT is still very much alive and performing. Any fan of Taylor’s music will settle for themes like this until he’s ready to put pen to paper again.

Something Else!

Something Else!

The Something Else! webzine, an accredited Google News affiliate, has been featured in The New York Times and NPR.com's A Blog Supreme, while our writers have also been published by USA Today, Jazz.com and UltimateClassicRock.com, among others. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Something Else!
Share this:
Close