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Randy Newman - HARPS & ANGELS ((Vinyl))
By the release of 2008's HARPS AND ANGELS, Randy Newman was firmly entrenched in the pantheon of classic American songwriters. Always slightly out of step with the times, Newman's finest work is marked by a broad, timeless sense of American pop music that encompasses everything from George Gershwin and Jelly Roll Morton to Bob Dylan and the Beach Boys. Yet it is Newman's sardonic wit and razor-sharp sense of satire that makes his view of America as a whole so compelling.On HARPS AND ANGELS, both elements of Newman's artistry are on display with a richness they haven't had in years. The album's opening (title) track finds the grizzled songsmith contemplating mortality and the Lord over a mellow, gently swinging melody, while "A Few Words in Defense of Country," the album's centerpiece, takes the complex sympathies displayed for the antiquated norms of the Deep South on 1974's GOOD OLD BOYS and applies it to 21st-century American barbarism. Newman's a sly political fox who loves to ruffle feathers, but when he's singing about loneliness and romantic longing, as on "Losing You" and "Feels Like Home," the sentiments are never maudlin and always true. Randy Newman is a national treasure, and as enigmatic, frustrating, and ultimately rewarding as the nation he so brilliantly skewers. HARPS AND ANGELS is proof that he still has quite a bit to say.
- RSD Release Date: DDD
- Genre: Jazz