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Album Review

The Ben Taylor Band's E.P. #1 arrives as a teaser tied to the 2004/2005 season of the NBC period drama American Dreams, on which Taylor landed a contributing role. The EP includes "Surround Me" — a gentle acoustic number his character performed on the show — as well as a demo tracked for an upcoming album, and two songs from 2003's self-released Famous Among the Barns that appear here in reworked versions. Though mom Carly Simon helps out on E.P. #1's "Island," it's the influence of dad James Taylor that's heard in Ben Taylor's voice and phrasing. However, while his acoustic-based tunes are certainly of the singer/songwriter variety, Taylor's work with his band incorporates the jangly grooves and rootsy funk common to college campuses in the 1990s and 2000s. E.P. #1 is too brief to really bear this out; it's more of a promotional piece. But there's some promise in the tasteful, easygoing quality of Taylor's songwriting that might make his eventual full-length notable.

EP #1, The Ben Taylor Band
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