James Taylor October Road (2LPs)
Uncut: 3.5 stars out of 5 - "...the melodic facility and phrasing are as elegant as we have come to expect...OCTOBER ROAD's autumnal tones prove there is no substitute for experience."
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Vinyl LP Details
- Number of Records: 2
- Released: December 14, 2018
- Originally Released: 2018
- Label: Analog Sparks
Rolling Stone - 10/3/02, p.1044 stars out of 5 - "...A hit album without any obvious hit songs....Taylor's unhurried acoustic picking and calm, steady croon are - as they should be - the album's central joys."
Entertainment Weekly - 8/16/02, p.72Grade B - "...Taylor pretty much defines easy listening..."
Q - 9/02, p.1154 stars out of 5 - "...An album of rich, subtle melodies, championship-level guitar, playing and lyrical depth, as good an introduction to the low-key wonder of Taylor's work as MUD SLIDE SLIM or IN THE POCKET were in the 70's....A virtual songwriting masterclass."
Uncut - 9/02, p.1183.5 stars out of 5 - "...the melodic facility and phrasing are as elegant as we have come to expect...OCTOBER ROAD's autumnal tones prove there is no substitute for experience."
Mojo (Publisher) - 9/02, p.106"...the world's most accomplished exponent of [soft rock]...faultlessly arranged, impeccably played songs."
Tracks on Disc 1:
- 1.Caroline I See You
- 2.Baby Buffalo
- 3.Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
Tracks on Disc 2:
- 1.Whenever You're Ready
- 2.Belfast To Boston
- 3.Mean Old Man
Tracks on Disc 3:
- 1.My Traveling Star
- 2.Raised Up Family
- 3.Carry Me On My Way
Personnel includes: James Taylor (vocals, acoustic guitar); Michael Landau (guitar, gut string guitar); John Pizzarelli, Ry Cooder (guitar); Stuart Duncan (violin); Tommy Morgan (harmonica); Michael Brecker (saxophone); Robbie Kilgore, Larry Goldings (piano); Clifford Carter (organ, keyboards, synthesizer); Rob Mounsey (keyboards, synthesizer): Greg Phillinganes (keyboards); Jimmy Johnson (bass); Steve Gadd (drums); Luis Conte (percussion).
"Mean Old Man" won the 2003 Grammy Award For Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocals.
"October Road" was nominated for the 2003 Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.
You've got to hand it to pioneering singer-songwriter James Taylor for staying the course decade after decade. His 2002 release OCTOBER ROAD is so much of a piece with his previous work that it wouldn't have sounded out of place as a follow-up to his 1970 breakthrough album SWEET BABY JAMES. The laid-back phrasing, slightly jazzy acoustic guitar chords, artful-but-humble lyrical themes, it's all there. Though the elements that make up the Taylor sound are never far away, OCTOBER ROAD is not just a rewrite of past glories. "Belfast to Boston," with its pennywhistle and (synthesized) bagpipes, is an ostensibly Celtic-themed song about the tragedies of war and hatred, but the song manages to be subtly relevant to its post-9/11 emergence. The good-humored "Mean Old Man" is a Taylor original that sounds like a jazz standard, partly thanks to the work of famed jazzers Larry Goldings (piano) and John Pizzarelli (guitar). While Taylor occasionally indulges himself in a little polite R&B bounce, though, the bulk of OCTOBER ROAD is cloaked in the gentle, contemplative folk-rock style that those familiar with the man's oevure will have no problem cozying up to.
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