Album: Dad Loves His Work

"Dad Loves His Work" is the tenth studio album by American singer-songwriter James Taylor, launched on March 30, 1981, by Columbia Records. The album includes a collection of genuine tunes that revolve around the styles of relationships, love, and devotion. With a mix of folk, pop, and blues styles, Taylor showcases his trademark smooth vocals and complex guitar work throughout the album.

As the follow-up to his 1979 album "Flag", "Dad Loves His Work" continued Taylor's journey into exploring deeper measurements of his personal and musical life. The album title itself is a reflection of Taylor's emotions surrounding his career and the effect it had on his relationships at the time.

Background and Production
James Taylor chose to take a new method to the recording procedure for "Dad Loves His Work". Rather than taping with a complete band, Taylor and his producer Peter Asher opted to tape-record the basic tracks, consisting mostly of Taylor's guitar and voice, first. This allowed Taylor to focus on the core of each tune before bringing in extra artists to add their parts.

The album features contributions from different artists, including saxophonist David Sanborn, trumpeter Randy Brecker, and bassist Leland Sklar. Carly Simon, who was married to Taylor at the time, looks like a background vocalist on several tracks. This would be the second-to-last album they dealt with together before their divorce in 1983.

Music and Lyrical Themes
"Dad Loves His Work" is identified by its mix of musical designs such as folk, pop, blues, and nation. The album opens with "Hard Times", an uptempo song including Taylor's signature fingerpicking guitar design and a driving rhythm section. Sanborn's saxophone plays a popular role in the song, providing it an unique sound.

The album's lyrics explore the emotional work and turbulence of relationships. Among the most mentally poignant tracks is "Hour That the Morning Comes", in which Taylor envisions a couple's choice to separate, showing his own marital struggles at the time. "Believe It or Not" touches on the theme of unrequited love, while "Stand and Fight" addresses the desire to keep defending a relationship in spite of the chances.

Another standout track is "Her Town Too", a duet with J.D. Souther. The song tells a story of a small-town community gossiping about the current separation of a local couple. The song's acoustic-driven tune and Taylor and Souther's consistencies provide the track a gentle, melancholic tone.

Reception and Legacy
Upon its release, "Dad Loves His Work" got combined evaluations from critics. Some applauded it for its psychological depth and genuine songwriting, while others slammed it for an absence of cohesive noise and remarkable hooks. The album reached No. 10 on the Billboard charts and was certified Platinum by the RIAA.

Although it might not be thought about one of James Taylor's many iconic albums, "Dad Loves His Work" holds an unique location in his discography. It represents a time in Taylor's life when he was coming to grips with personal difficulties and discovering solace in his work. The album records the raw honesty and vulnerability that has made Taylor's music withstanding to fans across generations.

Artist: James Taylor

James Taylor James Taylor, the influential American singer-songwriter and guitarist, known for his warm baritone voice and unique fingerpicking style.
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