James Taylor on my mind

As part of my development as a songwriter I regularly study the work of the true masters of song. The idea is that by researching the greats I can learn about their craft and try to apply certain aspects to my songwriting in turn. My latest subject is James Taylor. Here is a collection of my thoughts. Steamroller is a great case of the blues, the last verse he declares "I'm a napalm bomb" - what a fantastic line, fits in so well with the rest of the lyric and takes the song to a new level - the stakes are raised now! Your Smiling Face has such a great mix of influences, I can hear Motown and Elton John in there at various points. Meanwhile Bittersweet is a fantastic atypical love song, the music being not your average ballad, far from it. Lastly, Only A Dream In Rio takes us on a mystical journey with the music, there's a great almost gospel undertone to this number.

James Taylor really is one of the true greats of songwriting.

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