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iTunes Review

The son of James Taylor and Carly Simon, Ben Taylor has a voice that resembles his dad in its gentle, matter-of-fact delivery and that shows the benefits of growing up in a musical family, as he tackles a variety of styles. Ben's fourth full-length studio album, Listening, has several standout cuts right at the onset. The title track strips down the sound to acoustic guitar and spare beats before bringing forth the atmospherics. "Oh Brother" cruises with Hammond B-3 organ licks and a strutting beat. "Not Alone" sits down at the Fender Rhodes and locates the early '70s in vibe and in chord progressions, as Taylor sounds like he's switched over to Paul Simon's family. "America" throws out a Portishead-style trip-hop/reggae groove. "Vespa's Song" starts as a mystery noirscape before breaking into daylight with a near–heartland rock feel. "Dirty" works a Ben Folds Five piano-pop angle. The acoustic-countrified "Next Time Around" shows that Ben is still best when he settles on being a Taylor. The deluxe edition adds an acoustic take of "America" and "Shade or Shine," a tune that shouldn't have been left off the album's standard version. 

Customer Reviews

Listen to 'Listening'

Like his prior releases, Listening is well worth taking a listen to more than once or twice. The man has talent and in the near future will lose his tag of being the son of James Taylor and Carly Simon by way of introduction. He obviously has the talent and perserverance to write his own music and play it masterfully. The musicians who accompany him are also of fine quality and make this release a full and mature offering.


Ben Taylor's new CD "Listening" is a lovely soft set. The opening title track has a lovely melody with an introspective lyric about restlessness, "I get the feeling that I can't go on here. How much longer? Tell me, I've walked so far. But I can't get near. Do so much talking, the point disappears." "Oh Brother" continues with melodic midtempo folk-pop, "Shine on, my little brother." "Vespa's Song" is a strong track with a unique melody and Ben's vocals aching, sorrowful and yet tinged with hope, "You hold my heart in your hands. You unfold inside my mind like a paper airplane, making it easier to fly." Ben loses his nut on "Dirty," a bizarre but intensely fun little ditty that prances about with words like "obsequious" that sound like they shouldn't belong in a song; I love it. "Listening" is another strong set by this fine young star. Enjoy!


Born: January 22, 1977

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '00s, '10s

As the son of James Taylor and Carly Simon, Ben Taylor was born into a musical world with much promise. His older sister, Sally Taylor, found her niche in the industry early on, but the younger Taylor never sought to follow the footsteps of his famous parents. His childhood might have been surrounded by recording sessions and tours across the world, but initially it wasn't in Taylor's mind to become a singer. Taylor was raised in Manhattan and spent time in various private schools before leaving...
Full Bio