Letters

I've been to several James Taylor concerts, during which the smile has never left my face. He is a master at capturing an audience, which is exactly why he continues to sell out shows and has for more than two decades. Simply put, he relates to his fans and his fans relate to him, something many other artists are unable to do. Maybe Floyd cannot relate to this, since it's a "feel good" thing.

The reality is that James Taylor's fans do not necessarily attend his concerts to hear his new stuff as much as to nostalgically listen to the old. And what's wrong with that?

Michele Sinisgalli
Miami Beach

Editor's note: Michele Sinisgalli's opinion, it seems, is shared by a couple of other people who learned of John Floyd's article via a Website devoted to James Taylor, and who were then directed to New Times's Website (miaminewtimes.com).

Sweet Crybaby Eric: Stinky Seventies Saps
I think John Floyd's review and harsh criticism of the finest folk-rock singer-songwriter of the Seventies stinks. James Taylor is not sappy sweet. His music is personal, genuine, and very real.

Eric Petersen
Aiken, South Carolina

Sweet Crybaby Michelle: Flyod's Bad-Hair Life
Sounds like somebody is a bit jealous. Did John Floyd join the Hair Club for Men and still can't get women to look twice at him?

As far as Hourglass being "one gooey valentine after another," Floyd should give it another listen. It's not just about romance.

Michelle Partin
Portland, Oregon

Sweet Crybaby Carol: Our Specialty -- Misanthropic Malcontents
Floyd's James Taylor review is typical of the standard cooler-than-thou pronouncements of self-important critics who can't win attention by making music and so get it by lashing out at those who can. If this article accurately reflects the extent of Floyd's insightfulness as a critic, New Times is not getting its money's worth. Find a music critic who likes musicians, not a misanthropic malcontent who has to pump up his own ego by insulting anyone more gifted.

Carol Marie
Dallas, Texas

Sweet Crybaby Virginia: Severely Unprofessional Annoyance
The next time you get someone to write a commentary on James Taylor, or any other music artist for that matter, find a person who is less biased, arrogant, and annoying. Mr. Floyd's professionalism is severely lacking.

Virginia Mitrosky
Tallahassee, Florida

Sweet Crybaby Philip: The Amazing No-Talent Loser
John Floyd has no business being a music critic. At best he is a loser who knows nothing about music. James Taylor is probably one of the greatest singer-songwriters-musicians this country has ever produced. The reason he sells out every show is that those of us who know great music go to see him.

Since Mr. Floyd is obviously a man of limited mental capacity, his hateful article is not surprising. It is amazing that we live in a world where a no-talent loser like him is allowed to be a music critic and have his articles published for all to see.

Philip Casavant
Holliston, Massachusetts

Sweet Crybaby Wendy: Rude and Trite and Not the Times
Floyd's article was ridiculous. It gave no insight and was really rude. James may not be everyone's cup of tea, but to suggest he can't sell many records and that only people without any taste go to see him is a very trite perspective. I like artists who represent many types of music. I even saw most of the greats from the 1960s live many times. Now I listen mostly to Van Morrison and blues performers, but James remains a favorite. I don't take issue with Floyd panning his performances, only with him insulting those of us who really like James.

Why doesn't Floyd read reviews written by obviously more professional reviewers like those in the New York Times and learn how to write a real review?

Wendy Rich
New York, New York

Sweet Crybaby Jonathan: Honestly, Many of Them Really Aren't That Bad!
Floyd's critique is (subjectively) valid as far as it goes, but it makes the common mistake of assuming that most of James Taylor's songs are about "mushy reactions to love." Many of them aren't. For example, check out "Only a Dream in Rio," from That's Why I'm Here, or "Frozen Man," from New Moon Shine. Both are inventive arrangements of takes on unusual subjects. The latter is James Taylor's best song of the decade and has been covered by Fairport Convention and Garth Brooks. (Will those names provoke another rant from Floyd, I hope?)

Jonathan Schilling
Marlboro, New Jersey

Sweet Crybaby Phil: Heavy Metal Can Be Meaningful
I have seen James Taylor in concert many times over the years. He is one of the few popular performers who put on a show of enough class and talent that you feel you have gotten your money's worth. Of course, not everyone is going to enjoy every artist. I dislike heavy metal, but that doesn't mean it doesn't mean a lot to many people.

I listen mainly to jazz, and I'm very particular about letting much popular music into my life. But Taylor is a superb singer and songwriter and is rightfully respected by many classical, jazz, and pop artists.

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