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Hourglass

4.7 out of 5 stars 79 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 20, 1997
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$15.88 & FREE Shipping on orders over $49. Details Only 8 left in stock. Sold by Carlsen Enterprises Inc. and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Product Description

James Taylor ~ Hourglass

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The merchant of mellow's first studio album since New Moon Shine (1991), and you've gotta have a heart of naugahyde not to be touched by the simplicity and uncommon wisdom of these dozen tunes. "Little More Time with You" is a trademark Taylor single augmented by a Stevie Wonder harmonica line, "Ananas" is sly and lusty, while the expertly crafted "Line 'Em Up" features a fond recollection of Richard Nixon's "shifty little eyes." A-list guests like Sting, Shawn Colvin, Branford Marsalis, and Randy Brecker add to the charm. --Jeff Bateman
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 20, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Columbia
  • ASIN: B000002BSX
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #154,605 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Barron Laycock HALL OF FAME on August 16, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Hourglass is the latest offering from James Taylor, although he is rumored to have a new CD entitled "October Roads" due out soon. This is by far one the best of his albums in recent memory, with a number of classic new songs. This is an especially terrific album given the fact that he has been around so long, and such an endless resume of previous accomplishments. Yet Taylor continues to amaze and amuse us with his personal growth and his incredible gifts for observation and songwriting. After all these thirty some years, he still is a master of his craft.
The first song up is a wryly amusing yet poignant song called "Line `Em Up", with references, among other things, to Dick Nixon and his arrogant presentations to the common folk and to the self-absorbed way he exited the White House stage. Next is a lovely albeit sad song called "Enough To Be On Your Way" intended to be a tribute to his brother Alex, dead too soon from an self-abusive and ultimately self-destructive lifestyle. This song is a very thoughtful and searching exploration into the realms of love and loss, and is also a loving portrait of a person (Taylor turned his brother into a female character for dramatic purpose in the song) whose path was always drawn like a moth to the flame.
It also includes his very popular "Little More Time With You", and a number of other interesting and stylistically diverse songs. His interest in the whole earth mother realm in "Gaia" is especially well written, as is "Another Day". This is an album you will play and replay, and it wears well with time. Of course, my favorite here is "Enough To Be On Your Way", which, with some of the songs from his last several albums, is sure to be included on the "James Taylor Great Hits, Volume Three" we can hope will be on the horizon in a year or so. Meanwhile, though, enjoy this one.
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Format: Audio CD
It is surprising when an entertainer and an artist so long in the business suddenly delivers a round-house punch like that contained in this wonderful release by James Taylor, who after more than thirty years recording gives us this autumnal delight by way of "Hourglass". I have always been impressed by Taylor's obvious literate intelligence, playfulness as an artist, and willingness to go out on that limb that I am sure people have told him not to venture out on. But he carries it off very well here, with what is certainly the best new work by him in more than a decade. I say "new work" because his live album (overdue by about a decade or so) released in the mid 1990s was a wonderfully fresh and consummately professional rendering of two CDs worth of his favorites, and is one I play regularly.
This new work, on the other hand, stands out as a surprising reconfirmation of just how talented, resourceful, and timeless Taylor is, and how endless his appeal seems to be, as well. From the opening strains of the wry and ironic "Line `Em Up" to the poignant and heartfelt "Enough To Be On Your Way" (a paean to his complex and troubled late brother Alex Taylor), Taylor leaves us in breathless enthrall at his ability to tell stories with a bittersweet twist, always saying more than what is strictly in the lyrics with his delivery, and employing that simply damned awesome acoustic guitar work that anyone familiar with his signature style can pick up as uniquely Taylor's at a virtual whisper from a hundred yards away.
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Format: Audio CD
Honest! I did count thirteen cuts on this with no mention anywhere of the thirteenth one.
Just to say that this is a great album doesn't seem to quite cut it. This is a living legend, the performer who led a whole genre of music originating in the 70's. This is a singer who exemplifies the mood of the 70's and as the years go by, gives us fresh perspectives of that period. And now in Hourglass, at the turn of a new century, he looks back and shares memories. As always, he surprises us with his manner of expression. He communicates his feelings at a companion's funeral, at the changes from the Nixon 70's to the present space age, at today's relationships.
There is lots of extra, unexpected talent here from his guests. Yo-Yo Ma on the cello, Stevie Wonder on the harmonica, Branford Marsalis on the Soprano Sax, Sting and Shawn Colvin on vocals.
Standouts include "Little More Time With You", "Jump Up Behind Me", the classic "Walking My Baby Back Home"...and yet what on this set is not a standout?
Okay, as usual, this is for James Taylor fans, and indeed the number of those is ever increasing. If you're familiar with James Taylor's music, don't pass this up. And if you're not, well, give it a try.
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Format: Audio CD
With Hourglass, James Taylor explores the world around us through the eyes of a deep feeling skeptic-- a romantic despite his pragmatic views. The songs range from slow and soulful to wistful and upbeat and I personally enjoyed his pairings with other artists. One of my favorites is "Jump Up Behind Me" with Sting. It's perfect music for "finishing up those reports" at home. James always leaves me wanting more, Hourglass is no exception. Buy it.
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