Some artists are so unique and have created a musical DNA that is so deeply embedded in our culture, that the sonic fingerprint is impossible to obscure. That is certainly the case with James Taylor, and his latest release “American Standard.”
Taylor says in his liner notes, “These are songs I have always known. Most of them were part of my family’s record collection, the first music I heard as a kid growing up in North Carolina.” And familiar is the key here, as this album is a comforting and reassuring work-up of great American classics, as only James Taylor can do.
From the opening track, “My Blue Heaven,” we are in the familiar – and extraordinarily unique – sonic universe James Taylor created for us over fifty years ago. To his version of “Moon River”, in which we are transported not to the New York City of Audrey Hepburn, but to the pastoral places of Taylor’s childhood. His voice, though wiser and more mature sounding is still sweet and lilting. Intermingled with his signature guitar fingerpicking and chord voicings, the album feels like another stellar Taylor classic, more than a reworking of well-worn songs. Delightful is an understatement.
Available on CD and in Hoopla.