Wade B. (Paterfamilias) from SALEM, MO Reviewed on 6/13/2007...
Stories in song!
A Chapin album of a different flavor
firstname.lastname@example.org | California | 07/06/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Having worshipped Harry since I was nine years old, it pains me to say anything negative of the master storyteller. "Living Room Suite" is the only Chapin album released during his lifetime that I would rate anything less than excellent. It has a little different feel than his other albums. It is somber and laid back with a slight country feel and little dramatics. It's hard to get emotionally involved with this album in the way that his other albums inspired. "Flowers are Red" is the only stand-out story song, but "Dancin' Boy" is a great tribute to parenthood that always brings a crack to my voice. This was the only Chapin CD my brother liked because it "was more normal". I disagree. Chapin was the master and this disc only rates less than 'excellent' when compared against other Chapin work."
Moved by all his music
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first heard Harry in 1972. I became an ardent fan. I saw Harry with his son (he was very young) on stage in concert soon after this album was recorded. He performed "Dancing Boy"; it was marvelous. I think of this as a stage in his life when he was really in touch with family and friends in a very loving way. I find this to be an exceptional album; lyrics, music and his feelings come through so strongly. It is different from most of his other recordings, I think that's what makes it so special."
Harry done grew up
Robert Rhode | Yankton, SD United States | 10/31/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After all the stories of alienation, loss and heartbreak this album was an amazing change for Harry. It seemed he'd finally grown up, settled down and was truly enjoying his family. If you feel like you're doing any of that then this album is still a must have.The pride and joy of parenthood in "Dancing Boy," the indictment of non-caring institutionalism in "Flowers are Red," these are all things that any parent can identify with. I got this album the first time when I was a young parent with small chidren.... and it was very shortly later that I heard of Harry's untimely death. It made the album feel even more special. I was so glad that Harry had finally seemed to find some peace near the end. Gone was the angry youngster who'd written "Sniper" and in his place was, as was the case of the woman in "Sequel," a man who finally liked himself. And isn't that the place at which we'd all really like to be when our own lives end?Actually, although I do have this on disc now I can hardly play it anymore. As the song says, "There will come a day when your dancing days are done. When Daddy and his dancing boy have dwindled down to one." Time has flown by, it's happened in my life and the memories of that time are oh so bittersweet."
Kindafunny | Pittsburgh PA USA | 08/16/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm fifteen years old, and this disc is by far my favorite (not that I have them all.) I found an old copy in my mother's CD's, and have been listening to it since I was 11. I loved his voice from the very begining, and listened to this to fall asleep. I especially love 'why do the little girls.' I love the way he writes so poingently about the struggles women have, and sometimes still do, face in the real world. Many versions of the songs here I like better than other places. I would recommend this disc to any Harry Chapin lover, and to any aspiring Harry lover. It's amazing!"
Harry Chapin songs tending to focus on love of family
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 10/02/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This 1978 album is an atypical effort from Harry Chapin inasmuch as it does not have one of those epic story songs for which he is so well remembered. The two jewels on this album are the pair of "children" songs: "Why Do Little Girls" deals with how women are forced by culture into subordinate roles ("Why did the little girls grow crooked, While the little boys grew tall") while "Flowers Are Red" looks at how conformity crushes creativity. There are also the expected Chapin songs about self-depreciating love ("Poor Damned Fool") and political activism ("Somebody Said"). While "I Wonder What Would Happen to this World" is another one of Chapin's imitation spirituals that I can never quite cotton to, the final chorus of "It Seems You Only Love Me When It Rains" is another nice example of how Harry could put his heart into his singing. But it is the focus on the love of his children rather than the love of a good woman that inspires the best efforts on this particular album and explains best justifies the title."