Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

James Taylor: Flag [Columbia, 1979]
What's wrong with most of these songs is that Taylor is singing them. He can sing, sure--the "Day Tripper" cover and "Is That the Way You Look" show off his amused, mildly funky self-involvement at its sharpest and sexiest. But too often the material reveals him at his sharpest and most small-minded; John Lennon might get away with "I Will Not Lie for You," but JT's whine undermines whatever honesty the sentiment may have. C+