Before This World
Label: Concord Records
For most of the 2000s, James Taylor failed to compose any original material. It was a dire situation for a musician hailed as one of the icons of the singer-songwriter movement. In an attempt to reconnect with his muse, Taylor resorted to isolating himself in a small apartment in Newport, Rhode Island. It's there that he eventually hammered out the bulk of the tunes comprising Before This World, an album that rekindles the classic James Taylor sound of the early '70s. This is especially true of "Montana" and "Today Today Today," wispy blends of poetic introspection and sentimental travelogue.