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Great--as far as it goes, that is (three and one-half stars)
Matthew G. Sherwin | last seen screaming at Amazon customer service | 05/06/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"James Taylor Greatest Hits is a good retrospective even though at twelve songs I think it's a bit too short. They should have added a song or two; but what we do get is excellent material. The quality of the sound is excellent and the artwork is tastefully done.
"Something In The Way She Moves" has a very pretty melody and the guitar and James' singing carry the bulk of the melody. This song is a sweet one that has traces of folk music in it; and the string instruments are very well placed into the musical arrangement. "Carolina In My Mind" features James Taylor front and center--and that's OK with me! The melody is very solid and James sings this with all his heart and soul. Excellent! James' voice is very rich and full of masculine warmth; his uncanny sense of timing enhances his performance even further.
"Fire And Rain" tugs at my heartstrings whenever I hear this torch song; it's all very beautiful and James sings this passionately. James carries this tune well and the piano works well for this love ballad. "Country Road" again places James right in the spotlight--and he doesn't waste a minuet! James delivers "Country Road" with panache and this impresses me greatly. The slight twist of folk and country music elements enhances the natural beauty of "Country Road."
"You've Got A Friend" is probably my very favorite song on this CD; James delivers this flawlessly and the emotion again tugs at my heartstrings because James sings of unconditional and undying love and friendship. The guitar carries the melody well but the other instruments help out, too. James also handles tempo changes effortlessly--although we know that it really wasn't so easy; James could make it seem easy because he is so talented.
"How Sweet It Is (To be Loved By You)" has a pop music flavor to it; and I can never tire of hearing James Taylor singing this fine tune! The melody stuns me with its beauty and there's no wonder why this was a huge hit for James. Great! "How Sweet It Is (To be Loved By You)" is clearly a major highlight of this album. In addition, James Taylor does a great job on "Shower The People;" this touching love song stresses the importance of showing your special people just how much you really love them.
The CD also ends very strong with James Taylor performing "Steamroller." "Steamroller" is a live track that James carries perfectly and his adoring audience loves every minute of it!
James Taylor fans will want this CD if they don't already have these songs in their collections. Because this album is so short it may be best suited for the casual fan who doesn't care to delve too deep into James Taylor's work. I have to take off one and ½ stars to make this a three and ½ star review because the CD is just too short to be called a "greatest hits" collection.