Friday, April 4, 2008

CD Review: (LIVE)

Disc One

15) New Hymn
Disc Two
4) Sun On The Moon
11) You Make It Easy
13) I Will Follow
When James Taylor puts on a show, he delivers.  His set list is a diverse mix, a display of his versatility.  He will play both classic hits and more recent work, originals and covers, hard blues and tender ballads.
On these discs, he is backed by a tight five-piece band and four skilled back-up singers who beef up songs like "Traffic Jam", "Handy Man", and many others.  His entire live act is just superb, but the most outstanding track is still the very first, the gorgeous "Sweet Baby James", rendered only with Taylor's unmistakable vocal and acoustic guitar stylings.  Not that the band doesn't compliment him well - in fact, he couldn't perform some of the songs without them.
Such songs include the soulful "Traffic Jam", a piece made for a gospel choir.  Then there's one made for jamming - "Steamroller Blues".  Songs like these show that Taylor can do so much more than soft rock.
But Taylor still gives the people what they want - the smooth stuff that made him a legend in the first place.  The band brings out the gospel in "Shower the People", the grandiosity of "Fire And Rain", the soul of "How Sweet It Is."  All throughout, the ensemble is led by Taylor's famously smooth, surprisingly dynamic voice.
James Taylor is many things.  He's a versatile songwriter, a skilled guitarist, a passionate singer.  And if this collection of performances indicates anything, he's damn good on tour as well.
***** out of five

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments are valued greatly. Please adhere to the decorum on the "First time here?" page. Comments that are in violation of any of the rules will be deleted without notice.

3/11 Update - No Moderation

*Non-anonymous commenting is preferred to avoid mix-ups. Anonymous comments are, at the behest of management, more likely to be deleted than non-anonymous comments.