You've Got A Friend: The Best Of James Taylor (CD) cover image

You've Got A Friend: The Best Of James Taylor (CD)
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James Taylor - You've Got A Friend - The Best Of - Cd Any good singer can interpret a song, but it takes a stylist to make it his own; and James Taylor is a stylist. You've Got a Friend obviously can't chronicle much more than the hits and high points of Taylor's career, but it nonetheless captures the artistic essence of a performer who's become a virtual synonym for "singer-songwriter" since his emergence in the late 1960s. A lot of ink has been spilled ruminating about Taylor's role in soothing a 60s-burned generation, but given his own well-known demons (depression, addiction) his gentle voice often sounds like the physician wisely healing himself. His muse seems fully formed from the opening "Something in the Way She Moves", a track cut for the Beatles' Apple label in late 1968 (and one that seems to share some symbiotic relationship with George Harrison's own classic "Something" from the period), its tone at once familiar and inviting--if ripe for a few decades of parody--as it wends its way from his seminal early 1970s hits through a slate of later originals, R&B ("How Sweet It Is", "Handy Man") and pop ("Up On the Roof") covers. Tellingly, he delivers those chestnuts with an offhand confidence and illumination that makes them his own, a sense that informs even his jazz and Brazilian ("Only a Dream a Rio") flirtations. The set's newly recorded bonus cut, John Sheldon's "Bittersweet", is a pleasant pop confection that showcases Taylor's knack for being laconic and upbeat in the same breath. --Jerry McCulley

Release Date: N/A

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