Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
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Oh Billy, where art thou?
Tim Brough | Springfield, PA United States | 06/14/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"All the way back in 1993, Billy Joel released the stunning single "River Of Dreams." With its gospel inflected chorus and snappy pop arrangement, I considered it one of the best singles of the year and was eager to hear the album. Little did we know that Joel was effectively closing the door on his pop career, with only one new song issued in the years since (other than his classical work). But much like "The Nylon Curtain," Joel tackled the recording of "River Of Dreams" from a mature perspective but now also from the vantage point of a family man and father.
That meant that his old brashness was tempered with a mature wisdom. As simplistic as it may seem, "Shades Of Grey" making the claim that "I'm old and tired of war, I hear the other man's words but I'm not that sure anymore" are a universal poem from a man moving through his late 40's. That's not to say he has totally mellowed. His former manager and ex-brother-in-law gets a musical spanking on "Great Wall Of China" (he was accused of embezzling from Joel while serving as his manager).
The main topic, however, remains love. Christie Brinkley was still his wife and the love songs on "River of Dreams" are all directed to her (she designed the cover, as well). His daughter Alexa is the focus of a beautiful "Lullabye," once more showing this to be Billy The Family Man album. His optimism comes through on the last two songs, "2000 Years" and "Famous Last Words," which bluntly stated "It's time to put this book away, ain't that the story of my life?" Who knew that the last verse on the album would be the epithet of his popular music career?
Just the same, as an album of immaculate pop, "River Of Dreams" is an excellent way to close the curtain. I may be hoping for Joel to return to the studio, but this will always have a place on my CD shelf. But one can always hope that Joel may once again feel like he has something new to say."