James Taylor

Never Die Young

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While his aging contemporaries took a variety of tacks to keep up with changing fashions, from adopting more synthesized, percussive production styles to assembling an orchestra and singing standards, James Taylor just kept playing a summer concert tour each year, and periodically putting out another collection of similar-sounding songs. Never Die Young was unusual only in that there was no big oldies cover from the '50s or '60s -- every song was written or co-written by Taylor -- but otherwise it addressed the same audience in much the same terms as he always had. The title song and "Baby Boom Baby" (both Adult Contemporary hits) referred to the passage of time, and the rest floated on a sea of yuppie contentment. "I work hard to see that you remember my name," he sang, and that work seemed to consist of reminding his listeners why they had liked him in the first place.

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