"That's Why I'm Here" is the tenth studio album by the renowned American singer-songwriter James Taylor, launched in 1985 by Columbia Records. This album marked Taylor's return to the music scene after a six-year hiatus, as he dealt with individual problems and dealt with drug dependency. The album features a mix of initial tunes and covers, showcasing Taylor's distinct voice and songwriting abilities. It received favorable evaluations from critics and helped re-establish Taylor as a leading artist in the pop and folk-rock genres.
Music and Lyrics
The music on "That's Why I'm Here" stays real to James Taylor's signature sound, featuring a blend of folk, rock, and pop designs. The plans are easy and primarily acoustic, allowing Taylor's warm and soothing voice to take spotlight. Throughout the album, his guitar playing is as skilled as ever, and his fingerpicking design lends a distinct texture to the tunes. Helped by a talented group of artists, consisting of drummers Rick Marotta and Russ Kunkel, guitarist Danny Kortchmar, and keyboardist Don Grolnick, Taylor weaves together an intimate and evocative tapestry of sound.
The lyrics on the album discuss various styles, such as love, loss, healing, and self-discovery. With a more reflective and fully grown outlook, Taylor reflects on his life thus far and looks forward with hope and clarity. Songs like "Song for You Far Away" and "Only One" check out the difficulties and intricacies of romantic relationships, while "Only a Dream in Rio" is motivated by his experience at a Brazilian music festival and captures the spirit of resilience and unity he experienced there.
Notable Songs and Covers
"That's Why I'm Here" includes a mix of original tunes and covers, showcasing Taylor's ability to reinterpret and breathe new life into classic hits. Among the most notable covers on the album is Taylor's rendition of Buddy Holly's "Everyday", which was released as a single and got significant radio airplay. With its mild, lilting tempo and expressive vocals, Taylor's variation ended up being a fan favorite.
Another standout cover on the album is Taylor's rendition of the Lennon-McCartney classic "Only a Dream Away". Though it wasn't launched as a single, this interpretation of The Beatles' song is noteworthy for its smooth, complex guitar work and lush consistencies. Taylor's ability to put his own spin on popular songs is even more apparent in his bluesy take on Jimmy Jones' "Handy Man", which highlights his vocal variety and ability.
The title track, "That's Why I'm Here", is an introspective and poignant song that explores Taylor's struggles with addiction and his journey towards healing. It works as a tip of the power of music to recover and the artist's commitment to his craft, regardless of life's challenges.
Reception and Legacy
Upon its release in 1985, "That's Why I'm Here" received normally positive reviews from music critics, who praised Taylor's songwriting, vocals, and guitar playing. The album peaked at number 34 on the US Billboard 200 chart and was certified platinum. "Everyday" and "Only One" were both successful singles, helping to re-establish Taylor as a popular and beloved singer-songwriter.
More than 3 decades later on, "That's Why I'm Here" stays a testimony to James Taylor's durability, development, and sustaining talent. The album works as a critical point in his remarkable career and a reminder of the transformative power of music in both the artist's life and in the lives of his listeners.
Artist: 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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