October Road


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Bob Waliszewski

Album Review

Pro-Social Content

A “Mean Old Man” gets transformed into a “puppy dog” by the love of a good woman. An appeal to Catholics and Protestants warring in Northern Ireland, “Belfast to Boston” condemns hatred and recommends forgiveness. Taylor expresses love for his wife on “Caroline I See You” (“Take you by your hand … Caroline, I love you/Though I’m late to say so”). “On the 4th of July” lauds patriotism, freedom and enduring love, stating that the loyalists’ worthy cause included “the Kingdom of God and he rights of man.” A half-dozen tracks suggest that unhealthy or antisocial behavior has consequences. “Carry Me on My Way” expresses a deep sense of contentment (“There isn’t anything I haven’t been given/How could I ask for anything more”). Although it might sound more at home on a holiday collection, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” celebrates friendship while wishing listeners well, however …

Objectionable Content

That old bugaboo line “if the fates allow” crashes the party. “September Grass” speaks of sipping apple wine, and “grass” could have a double meaning.

Summary Advisory

This is Taylor’s first album since his 1997 Grammy-winner, Hourglass. On the whole, it’s solid. No “Steamroller” here. There are minor bumps in this Road, but nothing parents and teenagers can’t steer around together.

Bob Waliszewski
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