Sound — 9
James Taylor is easily one of the greatest acoustic songwriters of our time. He crafts Beatles-esque harmonies backed with soft loving background music that creates musical bliss. 'Sweet Baby James' marked the solidification of the Taylor that would come to prominence as the 1970s wore on. The tones of the record range from soft rock to upbeat pop, and it's pure enjoyment every step of the way.
Lyrics — 9
James truly is a great singer, and with lyrics this good it really puts him over the top. The words to songs like 'Sunny Skies' and the title track really signify an era in music, one that was moving away from the hard edged 1960s folk music into the groundwork for the 1970s soft rock singer songwriter explosion. The words flow with the fingerpicked acoustic guitar extremely well. Hats off to James Taylor for making us all wish we could write words this good!
Overall Impression — 9
'Sweet Baby James' remains the defining moment in Taylor's career, and is one of his strongest releases to date. My favourite tracks are 'Sweet Baby James', 'Country Road', and 'Suite For 20 G'. It's hard to pick a favourite though, every track is so strong. The only trackon the record that I didn't really like was his cover of 'Oh! Susanna', it's a bit amateurish and unnessacery. All in all, James Taylor's 'Sweet Baby James' is one of the crowning glories in a career that has seen so much. I highly recommend this album.