Chattering Mind

James Taylor’s newly-released holiday album is essentially a refurbished collection from 2004, and I’ve got to tell you, having just spent the morning with it: It retains its highs and lows.

Old Baby James’ renditions of “Jingle Bells” and “Winter Wonderland” have a sleepy, detached, I’d-rather-be-on-Martha’s-Vineyard-quality–which is really too bad since I suspect they’re gonna be played in every department store’s elevator from now until January 2nd.

Arranger/pianist/composer David Gusin tossed in his own “Who Comes This Night” and another song called “Some Children See Him” for freshness, and that actually helps.

The best thing on this CD is Taylor’s heartfelt interpretation of “Auld Lang Syne” since he actually seems to be wondering, “should old acquaintance be forgot?” If you’re over 40, you’ll find the pictures in the liner notes cute.

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