Friday, October 03, 2008

James Taylor's Covers

It seems like just yesterday that I wrote about James Taylor's last release, the live recording One Man Band, but in reality it was back in November of last year. That being said, he just released an album of new material earlier this week. It's titled Covers, and as you might guess, it is in fact and album containing twelve covers. As Taylor points out in the liner notes for the album, cover songs are nothing new for him; some of his largest hits have been covers: You've Got a Friend, How Sweet It Is, Up On the Roof, and Handyman.

What makes this particular collection of covers interesting is the breadth of material that he chooses to tackle. He touches on soul and R&B with songs made popular by The Spinners, The Temptations, The Drifters, and Jr. Walker & the All Stars ((I'm A) Roadrunner, which you can hear below), but also goes country by touching on Glen Campbell, John Anderson, and the Dixie Chicks. He also hits some middle ground with oldies from the 50's and 60's like Eddie Cochran and Jerry Capehart's Summertime Blues, Buddy Holly's Not Fade Away (which has a suprisingly snarling guitar line! hear it below) and Leonard Cohen's Suzanne.

I'm not going to lie to you; not all of the covers here do it for me. Part of it might be the material, the country songs in particular. I'm not all that familiar with the originals, so I can't compare, but Taylor's voice and even more so his style just don't seem suited for them. He does better with the Motown material and the oldies in my opinion. There are some good tracks here, you just might need to search through to see what tickles your fancy.

Visit his website, his label Hear Music, and become his friend on MySpace.

No comments: