Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Randy Newman Creates Something New Under the Sun
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock
Randy Newman (a back-cover subhead brags, our champ "Creates Something New Under the Sun," which, for once, isn't an idle boast) was near impossible to find shortly after it first came out, though it was a critical pet. Th... more »
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Randy Newman (a back-cover subhead brags, our champ "Creates Something New Under the Sun," which, for once, isn't an idle boast) was near impossible to find shortly after it first came out, though it was a critical pet. The Southern California songsmith went on to score a few less-than-representative hits (it's so hard to deal with people who equate Newman with Jimmy Buffett because of novelty singles like "Short People"). He also created some masterful concept albums, foremost among them Good Old Boys. But the basic Newman template was laid down with this first full recording: elegant Copeland-esque arrangements soaring over morose though frequently hysterical lyrics delivered with a conversational mumble that owes a lot to Sonny Boy (Rice Miller) Williamson. The best track: "Love Story (You and Me)," which summarizes a lifelong relationship in three demeaning verses. --Steven Stolder
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Perfect Introduction; Brilliant All Round
M. Packham | Perth, Western Australia Australia | 04/16/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"`Randy Newman', obviously by Randy Newman, is the perfect introduction to the work of the great songwriter himself. The album, albeit short, is the sort of thing you can play over and over again so you can fully appreciate the subtlety of Newman's lyrics and music. The two are equally masterful. His music, put simply, is quite beautiful; his lyrics, however, are primarily what have made him so revered throughout the industry. They are cynical, bitter, hilarious, ironic, scary, satirical, twisted, jaded, sad, concise and incisive. Newman possesses a perverse interest in the `underbelly' of the common man, cutting through the masks we all wear, singing about the things we all identify with and experience under our exterior.The album starts with the somewhat frightening `You and Me', a story about a bland, typical marriage that spans an entire life. `I'll take the train into the city/you say you're plain, I think you're pretty/maybe if I'm not too tired we'll go out dancing/or we'll sit romancing, watching the `Late Show' by the fire." The bland verses suddenly leap into an orchestral, horrific chorus of "you and me, you and me, you and me babe, you and me, you and me, you and me babe..." This is the scarily satirical and ironic style of Newman, and the song serves as a perfect introduction to what he's all about. There are many highlights throughout the album. `Living Without You' is a sad little dirge that plays like a ticking clock while a man yearns for his lost love; `Davy the Fat Boy' is the story of a `fat-boy' ("isn't he round?") whose parents die, so his best friend puts him in a freak show for all to see while he does his `fat-boy dance'. This heartbreaking little song is a cynical view of humanity and compassion. `So Long Dad' is the story of how children move further away from their parents, paying them only perfunctory visits: "what's new/do you still work at the drugstore?" and `I Think He's Hiding' kicks off what turns into a series of Newman's songs about God and Religion (he's an atheist himself, so they're not flattering songs).Ultimately, `Randy Newman' serves as a great introduction to the work of the great man himself. It's an extremely good album: complex and subtle, with a variety of musical styles and instrumentations. The subject matter of each of the songs in the album also establishes the trend for his lyrics throughout his career, in their biting satire and cruel truthfulness. This is a must-have for both Randy Newman fans and newcomers to his music."
What an entrance
Rex Nicholson | Adelaide, South Australia Australia | 10/21/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Found Newman in Sail Away in 1973. Found his first album in 2000. It may not be a long album but for Newman fans.. get yourself a copy. You won't be disapointed. This is copybook Newman although definitely one of his saddder efforts. As usual, it still somehow makes me feel good. Maybe it is just so hard to find someone so honest about the imperfect way humans think and feel that it has made Randy a breath of fresh air. If your a fan of Sail Away and Litle Criminals then enjoy some more with Randy's first major recording."
Pop out fully formed!
Jason NeSmith | Athens, GA | 10/25/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Hot damn. This record is so good. I love Randy's stuff at least up through Little Criminals, but this one just barely takes the top spot from Good Old Boys. The lyrics are miniature portraits of Americana, like Norman Rockwell through deviant eyes. They aren't as introspective as later albums, but they have all the humor and despair of his best work. And the orchestrations are harmonically interesting and dynamic. I'll add well-recorded to that description. "You and Me" is terriffic, but "Davy the Fat Boy" and "I Think It's Going to Rain Today" are the best."