CD There You Are Again (CD 675042),
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There You Are Again
1. Best of Friends
2. There I'll Be
4. My Baby Don't Mind
5. Step by Step
6. There You Are Again
7. Tuesday's Lullaby
8. Tell Jesus (To Come to My House)
9. Blame It on Me
10. My Perfect Christmas Day
11. Wis I Were a Cowboy
12. You're the Boss of Me
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 307
Dean Sharenow; Glenn Rosenstein; Kristen Smith; Jim Parr; Joe Ferla; John Jaszcz; Mark Kibble; Allen Ditto; Sheldon Mirowitz; Steve Bishir
Personnel: Livingston Taylor (vocals, acoustic guitar); Livingston Taylor; Tim Davis (vocals, background vocals); Chris Rodriguez (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, dobro); Danny Torroll, George Marinelli (electric guitar); Paul Franklin (dobro); Aubrey Haynie (mandolin, fiddle); Jerry Vivino (tenor saxophone); Anthony Kadleck, Lew Soloff (trumpet); Tom "Bones" Malone (trombone); Shane Keister (piano, Fender Rhodes piano); Matt Rollings (piano); Gary Corbett (glockenspiel); Glenn Worf (upright bass); Steve Gadd , Chad Cromwell (drums); Eric Darken, Bashiri Johnson (percussion); Kimberly Mont, Lisa Cochran, Marabeth Jordon, Vicki Hampton, Kim Fleming (background vocals); Carly Simon (vocals); Vince Gill (electric guitar); David Sanborn (saxophone); Kate Taylor, Pam Tillis (background vocals); Gary Burton , James Taylor , Andra Crouch, Take 6.
Audio Mixer: George Massenburg.
Recording information: Avatar Studios, New York, NY; Dark Horse Recording Studio, Franklin, TN; Hiatus Studio, New York, NY; Oxford Recording Studio, Nashville, TN; Paragon Recording Studio, Franklin, TN; Parr Audio, Martha's Vineyard, MA; Q Division Studio, Somerville, MA; Skylight Studio, Franklin, TN; Sound Kitchen Recording Studio, Franklin, TN; The Tracking Room, Nashville, TN; Verite Music, Boston, MA; Vertical Sound Studios, Nashville, TN.
Arranger: Sheldon Mirowitz.
Once you make it past the sappy opening "Best of Friends" that overloads syrupy Disney-styled strings, after-school-special lyrics, and a guest duet from Carly Simon, all of which make it sound like a Sesame Street outtake, Livingston Taylor's first studio album of new material in nine years finds its footing. The song does set the tone of this disc, though, finding the younger Taylor in a particularly upbeat, love-the-world mood. The following tune, "There I'll Be," unites Taylor siblings James and Kate for the first time on one of Livingston's best tunes. A lovely mid-tempo ballad with a lilting melody and a snappy electric guitar fill from Vince Gill, it is a capsule of everything Livingston does well when the parts fit. There is still no mistaking the similarity to older brother James, at least vocally, but these songs shade more to classic pop, gospel, and jazz. The extended wait between albums has paid off in the immaculate production devoted to each song. A crack band including pros such as drummer Steve Gadd, keyboardist Matt Rollings, saxist David Sanborn, and bass player Leland Sklar meticulously brings each tune to life, although the disc's slick production and pristine recording sometimes undermines the singer's rootsier influences. Andra Crouch conducts a gospel choir on the spiritual "Step by Step" and the a cappela vocals of Take 6 help bring the religion on "Tell Jesus (To Come to My House)." Liv shifts into a jazz mood on "Tuesday's Lullaby," helped enormously by vibe master Gary Burton. All told, it's a delightful outing, a little on the cutesy, some might say cheesy, side with tracks such as the playful "Blame It on Me" and the good-natured Lyle Lovett-styled jazz-folk "Boss of Me." But that's Livingston's personality and world view and he genuinely sounds like he's enjoying himself on this upbeat, generally smile-inducing collection. Bouncy, bubbly, sometimes whimsical, but never pretentious, the album finds an established yet often overlooked veteran comfortable with his life and his art. ~ Hal Horowitz
Dirty Linen (p.90) - "Taylor serves up another hefty portion of the relaxed, tuneful pop-folk that has been his stock in trade throughout his long career. He also expands in several interesting directions."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.112) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Yet another of Taylor's instant likeables, 'Yes', works purely because it's a well-shaped song delivered in that lemon-tinged reed of a voice."
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