Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Adjective Noun: Sunny Skies

James Taylor: Sunny Skies


A classic folk fragment from back in the early days, before James Taylor became the elder statesman of litefolk and the poster boy for stuff white people like. This is the raw, fresh out of rehab Taylor, weary and still a bit shaken, trying to recover his sense of awe and appreciation -- less mature and polished, to be sure, but far more charming for it, and much more authentic.

For comparion's sake, since it seems to be cropping up as a sub-theme this week, here's a look at what two decades can do to a folk artist's sensibility: good stuff, to be fair, and catchy, too, but nothing so innocent as the original. Jazz it up with high production, string sections, and the works, and you get something albums with few gems, and far too much easy listening for my taste. So many good songs, lost to the lure of the studio session, the opulent sonic environment. So much power and emotion, lost at the altar to mass consumption and Contemporary Adult radioplay.

James Taylor: Frozen Man


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