Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock
Odd man out in California's early '70s panoply of singer-songwriters, Randy Newman didn't play guitar, refused to confess specific personal dreams and sins, and sidestepped the counter-cultural trinity of sex, rebellion, a... more »
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Odd man out in California's early '70s panoply of singer-songwriters, Randy Newman didn't play guitar, refused to confess specific personal dreams and sins, and sidestepped the counter-cultural trinity of sex, rebellion, and self. Newman dared to be a neo-classical pop survivor, narrative guerilla, and prankster, and no album summarizes these gifts better than this 1973 classic, which found the singer, songwriter, pianist, and arranger spreading his wings to fuse the economy of his songwriting with his lush gifts as a composer. The classic title song mingles its elegiac orchestral bloom with the devastating, deadpanned sales pitch of its slave trader protagonist, while elsewhere Newman wraps his whiskey drawl and laconic piano around acerbic meditations on God ("He Gives Us All His Love," "God's Song"), celebrity ("Lonely at the Top"), nuclear Armageddon ("Political Science"), and sex ("You Can Leave Your Hat On"). Funny, tragic, moving American pop at its zenith. --Sam Sutherland
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Steven Braun | Prairie Village, KS United States | 09/24/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I heard Randy Newman state during an interview that his songs should not be taken as autobiographical or expressing "his" opinions, that they are like separate characters and stories. I believe that this album is his best, and shows that he pours more of himself into his work than he may admit. The "Sail Away" album shows the full range of his thinking and emotions. Newman tends to see two sides to every situation, what we aspire to and what we actually are, but with a core of hope. There is wry but sympathetic political commentary on American history in "Sail Away", and biting political satire in "Political Science," which was written in 1969 that applies perfectly to the Bush administration. ("We give them money, but are they grateful? No they're spiteful and they're hateful. They don't respect us, so let's surprise them, We'll drop the big one and pulverize them.") There is the expression of sincere, simple, bedrock faith in God in "He Gives Us All His Love" and complex despair in watching the works of a seemingly sadistic supreme being in "God's Song (That's Why I Love Mankind)." In between there are wonderfully crafted songs about dancing bears, rivers that burn at night, and women that give us reason to live. I listen to this album again and again and enjoy and marvel at Newman's talent every time."
eightpointagenda | Chicago, IL | 06/12/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"...for something completely different. Randy Newman is a musician that I have always had a fondess for(predating my "Metal" days by a couple of years). I really like his soundtrack work(and still do). However, Randy Newman's masterpiece is truly Sail Away(which I bought at a Borders Books and Music for 10 bucks).What Randy Newman lacks in voice(honestly, he is not the most vocally talented musician), he makes up for in lyrical creativity and song composition. His piano playing is amazing, but his arrangements with his backing instruments are what really help make this record so great. Sometimes entering the realm of classical, the majority has lounge jazz feel to it. What makes for the real twist is the lyrical potency. Filled to the brim with satire(see; Political Science) and sincerity, his lyrics are what defines him and makes who he is: a great musician. I highly recommend this to any music fans, especially those who want a peak into the mind of a great American songwriter."