Taylorized Standardized (Music Thoughts: American Standard, James Taylor)

71D8i9mT0vL._SL1400_When pop singers get to a certain age, they inevitable do an album of standards. For me, they are either successful or not, musically speaking. A lot of them go the ‘traditional’ route, singing them to ‘classic arrangements.’ (think Rod Stewart’s standards albums) Some of them cater the songs to their particular style, and that’s when I think they are successful. These songs are a malleable bunch, and can and will work in different settings. When you think of James Taylor, you think of a certain. style – guitar, folksy, a little bit country, very personal sounding. He sings these songs just exactly how you think he would sing them, and it’s glorious. I feel as if I am listening to these songs for the first time. His easy breezy style suits most of them to a T. And it never sounds like he pigeonholed them to fit him. Listen, for example, to ‘Sit Down You’re Rocking The Boat,’ and you can hear the intimate joy. And when he croons ‘My Heart Stood Still,’ his honesty is up front and center. Some of the arrangements may sound a bit too similar if you listen to this straight through, but taken as tracks, they are minor masterpieces. Standards – you’ve got a friend in James Taylor

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