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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "October Road" a tried and trusted path
After a long wait of 5 years here we have the follow-up to the classic "Hourglass". At first hearing it strikes you as not as good, but further plays find the tunes spinning round your head. The first 3 tracks, "September Grass", "October Road" and "On the 4th of July" are gorgeous. Track 4 "Whenever you're ready" comes in...
Published on 22 Sep 2002 by bobandheleneales

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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some great new JT classics.
This is a good album. But I have to admit that the first few times I listened to it I was left feeling strangely unsatisfied. And I'm not entirely sure why.
There are some classic new JT songs to enjoy here. September Grass, On The Fourth of July and Mean Old Man are the highlights of the album. Simply excellent. As is Taylor's reworking of Have Yourself A Merry...
Published on 24 Aug 2002 by Graeme Edwards


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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "October Road" a tried and trusted path, 22 Sep 2002
By 
bobandheleneales (READING, BERKSHIRE United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: October Road (Audio CD)
After a long wait of 5 years here we have the follow-up to the classic "Hourglass". At first hearing it strikes you as not as good, but further plays find the tunes spinning round your head. The first 3 tracks, "September Grass", "October Road" and "On the 4th of July" are gorgeous. Track 4 "Whenever you're ready" comes in rather jarringly with its upbeat pop, and after the thoughtful, marching rhythm of "Belfast to Boston" the lounge lizard music of "Mean old man" sounds a little incongruous. The remaining tracks are mostly a delight with "Carry me on my way" being classic James. The brass on "Raised up family" jars a good song and "Have yourself a Merry little Christmas" is a corny delight. Stick with this album, it definitely grows on you. But don't wait another 5 years James!
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some great new JT classics., 24 Aug 2002
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This review is from: October Road (Audio CD)
This is a good album. But I have to admit that the first few times I listened to it I was left feeling strangely unsatisfied. And I'm not entirely sure why.
There are some classic new JT songs to enjoy here. September Grass, On The Fourth of July and Mean Old Man are the highlights of the album. Simply excellent. As is Taylor's reworking of Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.
Then there's My Travelling Star, Caroline I See You, Belfast to Boston (perhaps not quite up there with the sparser rendition to be found on James Taylor Live at the Breacon Theatre DVD) and Baby Buffalo. All good and thoroughly pleasant.
But there is an indefinable drag to this album - a lack of a spark which the superiour Hour Glass album possessed. Perhaps its down to the overall production which doesn't seem quite right - not sure how to describe it - its a bit on the flat side.
In my humble opinion you should buy the Limited Edition album. You'll get a bonus CD containing 3 extra songs which are worth worth 4 stars in their own right.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars James Taylor Is Back And Better Than Ever!, 28 Feb 2005
This review is from: October Road (Audio CD)
Over 30 years have passed since I first heard the warm, vibrant, smooth sound of James Taylor's voice and acoustic guitar. This artist just keeps getting better. Like a fine wine he mellows with age. After a five year hiatus from recording, Taylor is back with "October Road." After listening to this CD I can assure you the wait has been worth it.
The album's first cut, the wonderfully romantic "On The 4th Of July," tells the story of how he and his new wife met and fell in love during that Independence Day a few summers ago: "And the smell of the smoke/And the lay of the land/And the feeling of finding one's heart in one's hand/And the tiny tin voice/Of the radio band/Singing "Love must stand"/Love forever and ever must stand." "September Grass" is another great song, about love and the changing seasons, and is one of my favorite cuts. Not all the selections are love songs, however. "Belfast To Boston" addresses the age-old strife in Ireland - a haunting prayer for peace and forgiveness. "Whenever You're Ready" is upbeat jazzy with a Brazilian touch, terrific background horns and the sound of Taylor whistling at the song's close. "Raised Up Family" showcases Taylor's love for vintage soul and "Caroline I See You" is a deeply moving ballad. Taylor's daughter Sally sings background vocals on "Traveling Star" and "Baby Buffalo." "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas," a melancholy, unusual arrangement with Larry Goldings on piano, John Pizzarelli on guitar, and Harry Allen on tenor sax, was recorded right after 9/11 and it is the most beautiful version I have ever heard.
James Taylor is one of my favorite musicians of all time. If you like/love/enjoy his music, you will find this CD well worth the price.
JANA
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Midlife Crisis? No problem Mr Taylor!, 18 Sep 2003
This review is from: October Road (Audio CD)
October Road - Review by Jazzrockingchair
The big question is, How does it compare to the brilliant "New Moonshine", and the sublime "Hourglass"? The straightforward answer is that it is not as consistent, but here is the bad news if you thought you might save some money and just leave this one go.... read on.
The quality tracks are probably at least equal (and in some cases better than) to his finest work to date. I cite "On the 4th of July", "October Road", "September Grass", and "My Travelling Star". As usual Taylor has called the "boys" in. Namely the likes of Steve Gadd (Mr Drums), Rob Mounsey and Greg Phillinganes (Keyboards), Jimmy Johnson (Bass), Michael Landau and Ry Cooder (Guitars), to highlight just a few of the Crème de la Crème backing an artist like James Taylor can call on.
Most, if not all tracks would sit happily on radio 2, so if you are into sequencers, hip hop, rap, garage, or whatever, trust me, this is not for you. However, if you like to chill and listen to one of the foremost male voices in the industry, just gently meandering down various bluesy, jazzy, country roads, then October Road becomes a must.
Personally, I'm not fussed on "Belfast to Boston", despite the gravity of the subject. Also "Mean Old Man" will not find itself being played on my Media Player very often, although I would accept that it is a cleverly constructed song. More than passable though, are "Caroline I See You" and "Baby Buffalo".
An offering of highs and lows, luckily the highs easily transcend the lows (4th of July especially).
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic James Taylor, 14 Aug 2002
By 
Cliff Jones "Cliff Jones" (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: October Road (Audio CD)
At first listen, I'm not sure it's on a par with Hourglass, but it certainly compares. The songs are longer and "jam out" a lot more, which is a very good thing. There is more guitar, fewer imposing backing vocals but sweeter harmonies all the same and the whole thing is very, very understated. There are a couple of ropey tracks, like Mean Old Man and Belfast to Boston, but some absolute stunners like September Grass and Raised Up Family. But it's a grower, definitely. JT's voice just keeps getting better and songs more sincere. A must-have for fans both old and new.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet music, James., 4 Mar 2003
By A Customer
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This review is from: October Road (Audio CD)
Once again Mr. Taylors perfect blend of beautiful melody and heartfelt lyrics lifts the soul. You cannot fail to be cheered or feel the stress of the day melt away when you plug into this book of songs. I listen to it on my commute to work, it is the perfect antedote to road rage. His gift for putting his own feelings into the words of his songs and at the same time mirroring the feelings of the listener give James Taylor an uncanny connection to his audience, trancending that of a mere artist/audience and raising the relationship to that of an almost personal conversation with a friend, be it a little one-sided. Thanks James.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent, 20 Aug 2002
By 
This review is from: October Road (Audio CD)
Excellent excellent excellent. If you are lover of JT's music you are not going to disappointed.
As someone who has been blessed with the curse of being born in Northern Ireland track 5 Boston to Belfast holds particular interest. Musically this track cleverly mixes a military drum backing with synth bagpipes & penny whistle redolent of both sides of the 'divide' in NI. The chorus backing adds a haunting human society.
The lyrics themselves are circumspectly poised & wisely balanced. This is no small praise, because to be quite frank, the voices that come from North America which express views on 'the Irish Problem' frequently sound poorly thought out & ill informed to many in NI.
Taylor sees the heart of the hatred & the need for the "blessing of forgiveness". If this comes (and as a Christian I pray to the Good Lord that it will) them the political mess can be unpicked.
The only disappointment is having just surfed to JT's web site to check his upcoming tour there is no slot for Belfast. If you read your own reviews James; poor form!
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5.0 out of 5 stars JT tall in the saddle again, 21 July 2014
By 
GlynLuke (York UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: October Road (Audio CD)
This is the best single JT album I`ve heard since his seventies heyday.
That unmistakeable bittersweet voice, the deft guitar phrases, the memorable songs, it`s all present and very correct on this set from 2002, when JT was 54.
I loved this the first time I played it, more than I did Hourglass from the same period. There isn`t one track that doesn`t sound fresh and inventive, and the tall guy`s voice still hypnotises with its tough-tender tones.
He`s had pity on Yuletide-phobes like me by placing Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas last, though even that`s pleasant enough.
The other eleven songs on this generous album are all, in their different ways, just lovely. The title song, September Grass, Whenever You`re Ready, Mean Old Man, Raised Up Family, Caroline I see You...these and the rest can stand tall beside his classics of years gone by.
A friend, who`s always been a big JT fan, once said to me that he didn`t think he could be friends with someone who didn`t like James Taylor. I kind of know what he means. I`d add Jackson Browne too - there are similarities in their styles, and a comparable strain of melancholy in their voices.
JT sounds happy these days, and I`m happy for him. I hope he makes more records of this calibre.
It`s a gem.

Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars October Road by James Taylor, 23 Oct 2012
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This review is from: October Road (Audio CD)
If you are a James Taylor fan, this is a must-buy. If you are not, then give it a listen. It is beautiful and will stand the test of time. Good price too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars myreview, 12 July 2012
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This review is from: October Road (Audio CD)
this is classic JT stuff but not that i had heard before, if you like JT you will be all over this.Not your typical rock star but a master nevertheless.SUPERB
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October Road
October Road by James Taylor (Audio CD - 2004)
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