JT is a showcase for the many sides of James Taylor. He plays the role of sensitive singer-songwriter that he helped to invent (“Handy Man,” “If I Keep My Heart Out of Sight”), celebrates life and the newfound wisdom to enjoy it (“Secret O’Life”), looks at the pleasures (“Your Smiling Face,” “There We Are”) and perils (“Another Grey Morning”) of domesticity, and even serves up some convincing honky-tonk (“Bartender’s Blues”). There are also more overt rock influences than he’d shown before, as evidenced by the upfront electric guitar, punchy bass and more aggressive singing on “Honey, Don’t Leave L.A.” and “I Was Only Telling a Lie.” Within this eclectic context even the goofball throwaway “Traffic Jam” has a role to play, and the mix of material — by turns serious, playful, tender and tough — made this 1977 release consistently satisfying and his biggest commercial success since Sweet Baby James.

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