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ALBUM REVIEW / POP

* 1/2 James Taylor, "Hourglass," Columbia.

June 28, 1997|NATALIE NICHOLS

Fans will find the spare sound and laid-back feel of "Hourglass" soothingly familiar, but it's so flavorless it can't even be livened up with dashes of spice from such luminaries as Branford Marsalis, Mark O'Connor and Yo-Yo Ma. In spite of the emotional range of his lyrics, Taylor's Zen tenor never betrays the slightest hint of passion about the subjects. Even the relatively upbeat "Little More Time With You" has all the urgency of a narcolepsy attack.

Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent).

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