The music blog 3 Minutes, 49 Seconds has a regular feature called Rock Bottom, which looks at the theoretically “worst” album in an artist’s catalog. His methodology posits that One Man Dog and Walking Man vie for the position, with the latter edging out the title. He then gives a pretty good defense of the album, while postulating why it never had the commercial selling power of his other albums.
Taylor himself wasn’t quite as lost as the characters he wrote about, but Walking Man was obviously a searching sort of album. And ultimately, James found what he was looking for. He learned his lesson, and never again strayed too far from his signature sound.