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James Taylor – Before This World (2015) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

James Taylor – Before This World (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 41:51 minutes | 840 MB | Genre: Pop
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | © Concord Records
Recorded at TheBarn in Washington, MA.

Before This World, five-time Grammy Award winner James Taylor’s long-awaited new album, is his first collection of new material since 2002’s October Road. Taylor wrote and recorded much of Before This World while touring over the past several years.

Recorded primarily at TheBarn in Western Massachusetts, the 10-track album will feature James’s legendary band: Jimmy Johnson, Steve Gadd, Michael Landau, Larry Goldings, Luis Conte, Andrea Zonn, Arnold McCuller, David Lasley and Kate Markowitz, as well as special guests Yo-Yo Ma and Sting. Kim and Henry Taylor provide background vocals on several songs. This hi-res version of Before This World was mastered especially for audiophiles with less peak limiting for a much greater dynamic range than the CD version.

James Taylor never sets his guitar down — he spends a good portion of every year satisfying faithful audiences — but he did rest his pen, opting to sit out the 13 years following the release of 2002’s October Road. He kept busy with covers albums and Christmas records, but Before This World finds Taylor returning to writing, a habit he abandoned about a decade prior. Often, Before This World contains echoes of the first decade of the new millennium — there is a passing reference to 9/11 in a song about Afghanistan and a love letter to the Boston Red Sox’s 2004 World Series win — but Taylor wrote these all in a batch, then recorded them at home with his touring band. Such quick progress gives the record a cozy, unified feeling but, unlike some latter-day JT records, it’s not too comfortable. Taylor is randy enough to sing about some “first-class poontang” on the nicely grooving “Stretch of the Highway,” a song more notable for a mellow vamp worthy of Steely Dan, the first suggestion there’s a bit more variety here than on a typical Taylor platter. He’ll ease into his trademark laid-back pop, opening the proceedings with “Today Today Today” and brightening up the midsection with the happy “Watchin’ Over Me,” but as the record comes toward its conclusion, he takes detours into traditional English folk on “Before This World/Jolly Springtime” and “Wild Mountain Thyme,” while etching out a cinematic protest song in “Far Afghanistan.” When a record runs only ten tracks and 41 minutes, these departures amount to nearly half the record and turn Before This World into something unexpected: a record as relaxed as the average James Taylor album but one that’s also riskier and richer, the right album for him to make at this date.


01 – Today Today Today
02 – You And I Again
03 – Angels Of Fenway
04 – Stretch Of The Highway
05 – Montana
06 – Watchin’ Over Me
07 – SnowTime
08 – Before This World / Jolly Springtime
09 – Far Afghanistan
10 – Wild Mountain Thyme

James Taylor – vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica, hi-strung guitar, synth guitar
Jimmy Johnson – bass
Steve Gadd – drums
Michael Landau – electric and nylon-string guitars
Larry Goldings – piano, Wurlitzer, Fender Rhodes, organ, accordion, harmonium
Luis Conte – percussion
Andrea Zonn – fiddle, vocals
Arnold McCuller, David Lasley, Kate Markowitz – vocals
Walt Fowler – handclaps
Rajendra Prasanna – shehnai
Antoine Silverman – concertmaster
Jonathan Dinklage, Rachel Golub, Hiroko Taguchi, Entcho Todorov, Orlando Wells – violin
Katharine Kresek, Philip Payton – viola
Emily Brausa, Peter Sachon – cello
Michael Davis – euphonium
Tony Kadleck – flugelhorn
Larry Di Bello, David Peel – French horn
David Mann, Lou Marini – tenor saxophone
Roger Rosenberg – baritone saxophone
Randy Andos, Michael Davis – trombone

Musical Guests
Yo-Yo Ma – cello on “You And I Again” and “Before This World”
Sting – vocals on “Before This World”
Caroline Taylor – vocals on “Angels of Fenway” and “Wild Mountain Thyme”
Henry Taylor – vocals on “Angels of Fenway” and “Wild Mountain Thyme”

Produced by Dave O’Donnell
Recorded and Mixed by Dave O’Donnell
Additional Engineer: Rick Kwan
Assistant Engineers: Tyler Hartman, Scott Moore, Fernando Lodeiro, Tommy Joyner, Justin Rose, Jay Zubricky

Recorded at TheBarn, Washington, MA
Additional Recording at Ocean Way Recording,
Hollywood, CA;
Avatar Studios, New York, NY;
Milkboythestudio, Philadelphia, PA;
GCR Audio, Buffalo, NY;
The Ritz-Carlton, SF and Four Seasons Hotel, LA
Mixed at TheBarn and Studio D
Mastered by Ted Jensen at Sterling Sound
Additional Mastering by
Justin Shturtz (Sterling Sound),
Matt Agoglia (The Ranch)


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