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The Randy Newman Songbook, Vol. 2

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iTunes Review

The second volume of Randy Newman’s Songbook series is once again a career-traipsing collection of songs performed solo at the piano. This plays particularly well for songs that were originally presented with more ornate productions. For example, “My Life Is Good,” from Trouble In Paradise, takes on a different malevolence. “Baltimore,” from Little Criminals, is solitary and lonely without the harmonies from the Eagles. “Dixie Flyer,” from Land of Dreams, takes on a stronger southern charm. Even “Losing You,” a track from 2008’s Harps and Angels deepens, with a gentler vocal. Newman doesn’t back down any, either. “Yellow Man” still points out the “pinhead’s view of China.” “Suzanne” is still a song of dark sexual menace. “Cowboy” is without its orchestration and so minimalist in its presentation that it appears to be more an aphorism than a song. You get a stronger sense of Newman’s New Orleans-based piano style. These songs are likely being played the way Newman first envisioned them.

Customer Reviews


One of the best songwriters in the last fifty years. Amazing stuff!


Born: November 28, 1943 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

An anomaly among early-'70s singer/songwriters, Randy Newman may have been slightly influenced by Bob Dylan, but his music owed more to New Orleans R&B and traditional pop than folk. Newman developed an idiosyncratic style that alternated between sweeping, cinematic pop and rolling R&B, which were tied together by his nasty sense of humor. Where his peers concentrated on confessional songwriting, Newman drew characters, creating a world filled with misfits, outcasts, charlatans, and con men. Though...
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