Ben Taylor Band Famous Among the Barns

The question with celebrity progeny is how far from the tree did the apple fall? Ben Taylor had two pretty substantial trees to drop from (he's the son of Carly Simon and James Taylor) and, like all offspring of famous musicians, needs to make sure he a) steps out from the musical mould set by his parents on his debut, and b) prove to cynical critics that he got his record deal based on talent, not his last name. Stylistically it's not a stretch to say that Taylor Jr.'s vocal chords sound remarkably like his dad and yes, you can tell this kid grew up listening to light rock hits. And that is the mixed blessing of Famous: it doesn't stray far enough from the Taylor/Simon formulas to warrant calling it groundbreaking, or even mildly original (even the melody from "Mushroom Dance" has got to be ripped from some James Taylor outtake), but really that's what will ultimately put Jr. on the radar screen. To be fair, Famous does sound contemporary and its ballads are filled out with fine sounding vintage keys and guitars, but you can't help but think this is just James Taylor updated for the new millennium. (Iris)