- Album name: One Man Dog
- Artist name: James Taylor
- Year: 1972
- Number of discs: one
- Label: Warner Records Inc.
- Distinguishing characteristics: “SIDE 1 – CUT 2 SKIPS” written in blue ink on back of album
- Collection: Selman
- Buy it on Amazon: $145.55
Level of familiarity before listening
I’ve never heard this record before, but it will be the fourth by James Taylor that I review. The previous three were:
- James Taylor (1968): 3/5
- Sweet Baby James (1970): 3/5
- Gorilla (1975): 2/5
What I expected
One curious thing about One Man Dog is that I’m not sure if it’s meant to be interpreted more as “one-man dog” (ie, a dog that is only for one man) or as “one man-dog” (ie, a single creature that is part man, part dog). The album art features one man (James Taylor) and one dog, in a boat, but unfortunately that does not do much to clear the matter up.
What it was actually like
These songs were all really short, and there were 18 of them.
One Man Parade was all over the place, and it sounded like every few seconds there was some other instrument that was jumping in, but the instrument that I disliked the most was the bongo drums, which made an appearance on several other songs.
Fool for You and Woh, Don’t You Know both hinted at funk, which I thought was a pretty interesting sound on a soft rock record.
Chili Dog had a bit of a country vibe, but was still basically soft rock (also, I love chili dogs), while Dance was closer to country, with nice fiddle and steel guitar.
Instrumental I sounded very Renaissance.
One Morning in May was a totally serviceable version of a traditional song, but I like this bluegrass version a lot better.
The only song on the record that I strongly disliked was Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight. In fact, I was neutral on it until its horrible saxophone solo. Fanfare was the record’s most musically expansive song, with brass and choral accompaniment, and it also had saxophone, but its saxophone made sense and worked well.
3/5: interesting, but not for me
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