Music Review: James Taylor

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James Taylor

October Road

[Columbia Records]

J.T. is back. Yes, he's still around. And yes, he's getting up there. But looking at him one would have no idea; he looks the same as he has for the last 34 years. Just compare the back cover of the new "October Road" with the front cover of his 1968 self-titled release. You might even be frightened by how well he's aged. And, he sounds pretty much the same too.

"October Road" is your characteristic J.T. album: It's feel-good, laid-back and playful. Let there be no mistake about it; He likes to enjoy himself and knows very well how. He likes to make music (and love) and likes to make music about making love. Sometimes this is subtle, sometimes not. On the first track, he tells his lover to "lie down" in the sweet "September Grass." Is one time enough? No. How about 30 times? That sounds more like it. On "October Road," he tells his lover-supposedly the same one-to "Go down slow, Open wide" (No comment).

On the playful and comical tip, he writes on "Mean Old Man" of being turned into (by his lover, of course) a "golden retriever puppy dog/ Who's a good boy?" And on "Raised Up Family" he borrows part of the fourth verse from the "Gilligan's Island" theme song: "The ship set down on the shore of this/ Uncharted desert island." If you're ever stranded on such an island, "October Road" and a stereo might be the perfect things to have. It would help, too, to have your lover and your golden retriever there to make sure you don't get lonely.

Put it on low and enjoy it as background music. If you turn it up, listen to it less frequently or time will stand still.

Tate Holt


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