.
http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/37ae3adfc12d67e22473572e4ac97a015ab719b8.jpg October Road

James Taylor

October Road

Sony Music Distribution
Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 4 0
September 10, 2002

On his first album in five years, James Taylor doesn't sound contemporary — and he seems very unworried by that fact. October Road reunites him with Russ Titelman, producer of 1975's Gorilla and '76's In the Pocket. Their approach here is much the same — delivering classic singer-songwriter fare laced with easy jazz and mellow R&B. Yet the result is much more subtle than those peak-era LPs; what's more, October Road is a hit album without any obvious hit songs.

At a time when veteran stars are routinely propped up with upstart guests and gimmicky grooves, Taylor and Titelman's tasteful restraint is refreshing and suits such contemplative tracks as "Belfast to Boston." The singer's unhurried acoustic guitar picking and calm, steady croon are — as they should be — the album's central joys.

prev
Album Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “American Girl”

    Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

    It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com