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Reviews: James Taylor: JT

Reviews: 5

Review by Blu Falcon June 4, 2011 (7 of 7 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Not sure if this will be a fair review. I was only a passive JT listener until I got this SACD. My new appreciation for all things Carole King led me to explore more of James Taylor's recordings. With that said, I can't compare this to the original LP, cassette, 8 track, reel to reel, CD, mp3... so sorry. What I will say is that the music on this album is nothing short of phenomenal, and I can't believe I've waited this long to give JT a spin. Nice mellow easy listening tunes perfect for a Sunday morning listening session, or unwind with your liquor of choice after a long day at the workplace. I suppose as we grow older our musical taste develop into something a bit more refined and not so angst ridden. I've been very pleased with all the MoFi SACDs I've acquired so far, and this one does not disappoint in the least. Without a frame of reference to go by in terms of previous versions of this album, I can only say that MFSL mastering duo of Shawn R. Britton and Rob LoVerde has once again given us a reference quality mastering worthy of the MoFi label. Nothing comes off as ear-bleeding shrill or lifeless and dull, but rather that rich, creamy, full signature sound we've now come to expect from MoFi SACD releases. Instruments sound natural, not overbearing but perhaps just a tad laid back on a few tracks, allowing one to fully take in JT's soothing vocals. I use Yamaha source components for SACD playback, which are just a tad on the warm side of neutral to my ears. The overall presentation of this recording is very mellow and warm, and you tend to forget that you're listening to a digital transfer rather than an analog format. Amazing. You know it's an excellent mastering job when you pay no attention to the trivial technical details, but become totally immersed in the music instead. This release follows the current MFSL trend of mini-LP style packaging with the disc housed in a scratch resistant sleeve, further protected by a hard paper outer sleeve, which provides a detailed description of the proprietary GAIN2 mastering system. There are no additional booklet with liner notes. The mini gatefold fits right in with other current MoFi SACD releases. Overall, this SACD is well worth the cash whether you're a hardcore or even a passive fan. While I can't say with absolute certainty that this is THE definitive version, I would be surprised if there is another version out there that is sonically superior. Buy with confidence.

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Review by Tingman July 5, 2011 (4 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Recently I had some negative things to say about a different MFSL SACD, and I was concerned that they might no longer be the company that produced the great vinyl that I purchased in the late '70's - early 80's. With JT I must give credit where it is due - this release sounds wonderful.

As a collection of songs it may be Taylor's best (although I have a soft spot for Mudslide Slim), and many of the songs here have remained staples of his live act since the LP's release. Thus, if you have a cursory interest in the music of James Taylor, this is a great purchase - if you already know his music, then you know how good this music is.

While this title was released in multichannel once upon a time, that version is long out of print ( and can command ridiculous prices). With that said, when I get a two channel SACD that sounds this good, I really don't bemoan the lack of a rear channel too much. This SACD sounds wonderful. Taylor's vocals ring true, and the presence the engineers have created is reference-quality.

I am pleased to sing the praises of MFSL in bringing JT to SACD, and highly recommend this title.

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Review by analogue December 9, 2011 (4 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Well I gotta say this is one terrific sacd from Mobile Fidelity. I for one am startled to be saying this about Mofi. I fully agree I am extremely critical of Mobile Fidelity and am not shy about lambasting their work when its bad. All told if Mofi would just equalize their mastering they would probably avoid the lifeless and drab, disappointing sound of their work. Their particular ideology of making flat transfers do not work for them..for other Companies yes..but not for Mofi.

I am a moderate James Taylor fan but after a listen to this disc and the other Mofi masterpiece Dad loves his work......I am pleasantly surprised to liking Taylor all the more. Ohhh....I liked the hits on these discs but now I like the whole disc. And this is another compliment that falls in Mofi's lap.

But why does this and the other Taylor disc sound so awesome?? Did Mofi just get lucky?? Or was it something they changed in their mastering suite?? I hope it was new changes they made. Its also obvious that this is a remarkable recording done with skill. The tapes are also in terrific condition.

What sets this sacd on such a higher plain than most other Mofi sacd's is the absolutely excellent sound.....but sound that is coupled with tremendous musicality. Its impossible not to be entranced by this album and this makes all the difference.

The sound is so very transparent.....extremely life like and the instruments and musicianship come across in spades. Drums fills are fantastic, the bass liquid. Songs Like Circle o Life and Your smiling face have a new lease on life.
Taylors voice is just amazing in every way....the full scope of his particular voice is just spot on. Turn up the volume, sit down and be amazed.

I cant even begin to think of even the slightest negative thing to say about this disc as its essentially awesome in every way.

I guess the word perfection comes to mind.

If Mobile Fidelity ever got their stuff together and started to release discs consistently with this quality......they would be unstoppable.

Thanks to the other posters for pointing the way to this disc and allowing me to take a chance.

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Review by cordobaman January 20, 2013 (0 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I like MoFi releases in general, realizing there is quite a range of quality differences. This is definitely a good one. JT's voice is so clear and warm and the nice, basic instrumental performances are very widely staged and wonderful for a stereo-only release. Nice clear bass. Too bad the songs, other than the few absolute gems, are just ok. I'll keep it just because of those few gems and the quality sound.

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Review by Ricoflashback August 3, 2013
Performance:   
Phenomenal SACD - this really shows off JT's talents as a songwriter, musician and singer.

Where do I start? This recording begins with the nice and easy "Your Smiling Face," and then meanders down from slow & easy to the solid rock, bluesy, folksy all wrapped in one selections.

By the time you get to "Bartender's Blues," you start to see "The Possum's (George Jones)" influence on JT. This tightly sculpted song, which was written in 1977 as a tribute to Jones, is my favorite cut on this SACD. Listen to the lyrics. Incredible writing.

With backup vocals from Linda Ronstadt & Carly Simon plus a host of excellent musicians, this is a great ride from start to finish and a disc that I listen to often....and so will you.

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