“Another Day” by James Taylor (1997)

I’m pushing myself to make this short and sweet, because “Another Day” is only two minutes and twenty-one seconds long. Too long to be an interlude, too short to be an actual song. Or is it? Shit, “Another Day” might be longer than “And Your Bird Can Sing”. So, long enough to be an actual song. But still short. And sweet.

“Wake up Susie/Put your shoes on/Walk with me into this life.” It’s easier to get out of bed in the morning knowing that there’s someone (or someones) willing to put up with the general bullshit of life with you, huh?

“Another Day” comes from JT’s late ‘90s (Oprah approved!) comeback album Hourglass. It starts off, as many JT songs do, with an acoustic guitar and THAT. VOICE. I could (and will–there are a handful of his songs on this list) write an entire essay about how James Taylor’s voice makes me feel. “Another Day” is a warm cup of tea on a cold day; a reassuring hug when you need it most.

NOT QUITE FIVE STARS…

“Annie May” by Tony Toni Tone (1996):  TTT was the last great R&B band. I guess you could maybe make a case for Mint Condition, but to me, they don’t have that one classic album. The Tonyies have two (hell, I’m tempted to even add 1990’s The Revival to that list, making it three…although that album runs completely out of gas three quarters of the way in). The group was dealing with a ton of internal strife during the sessions for House of Music, with each Wiggins brother conducting their own sessions. “Annie May” is one of the rare tracks featuring vocals from Dwayne and Raphael (although you don’t hear the latter until the last two minutes or so). After doing some research, it appears that the song was recorded sans-Raphael, and he later had his support/background vocals dubbed in. Hey, whatever works.

“Annie May” (shit, almost the entire album) is synth-free, and the musicianship on this song is smokin’. Is the bass line a bit derivative of The Invisible Man’s Band’s “All Night Thing”? Absolutely, but the Tonyies were pretty good about walking the fine line between “influenced by” and “ripping off”.

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