James Taylor – One Man Band

James Taylor – One Man Band / 2007 Hear Music / 19 Tracks / http://www.jamestaylorweb.com /

James Taylor has been in the music industry for nearly 40 years. It is no surprise, then, that the music that is present on “One Man Band” is some of the most mature and strong of eir career. What “One Man Band” is is not a new album, but is rather an audio and video version of a live performance, during which Taylor recreates some of the best known songs of eir career. This means that classics such as “You’ve Got A Friend”, “Fire And Rain”, and “Something In The Way She Moves” are all present here. The video version of this set provides Taylor fans with a number of different visual googahs. Essentially, what individuals are buying here is not just an audio CD but really a 2 in 1 that allows individuals that are too busy to sit down and watch the video to pop in the CD.

Similarly, they can focus on each nuance of Taylor’s style of performance when they stick the DVD in. The production value of each segment of the album is amazingly high; while this was a live performance, individuals would be easily confused if the live audience was quieted down further. The tracks that are played during this album could act as a greatest hits, but could also act as an entire album if individuals were not familiar with the original context and sound of the songs. Other features that individuals should get behind are the home movies that are present on the DVD. Where individuals may know the music of James Taylor, few know the actual history of the artists and what influenced a great deal of these songs. Having something like home movies present gives that much more context to the songs here. 

While this is not a new album, the performances represent such a departure from anything else Taylor has committed to studio albums that even individuals that have all the other Taylor albums will be forced into picking this up. The piano work of Larry Goldings is something that is subtle but stands out at points during this album. The addition of Goldings to the mix gives that much fuller of a sound, and puts this Taylor release so much ahead of other “unplugged”-style releases that it is not funny. Pick this CD and DVD up.

Top Tracks: Secret O Life, Slap Leather

Rating: 7.2/10

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University.

I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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