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Harps and Angels

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Editors’ Notes

Randy Newman’s first batch of new material since 1999’s excellent Bad Love, Harps and Angels follows many familiar Newman themes to their just placement. Produced by Mitchell Froom and Lenny Waronker, the album centers around Newman’s rolling New Orleans piano and orchestrations, and his droll wit and bluesy singing that often sounds surprised by what transpires. The title track traces a man’s spiritual reformation after being confronted with a near-death experience (he’s called to Judgment Day by a clerical error). “Losing You” explores an elderly couple’s inability to process the death of their son with their own lives’ nearing an end. “A Few Words in Defense Of Our Country” ran as an Op-Ed piece at the New York Times and has worked as the album’s “advance single” recounting the missteps of the Bush administration. “Piece of the Pie” handles economic disparity. “Potholes” humorously recalls his father’s ability to forget everything but Newman’s own childhood failures. “Korean Parents” suggests that strict discipline and a hard-nosed work ethic is society’s desperate need. Newman’s that rare songwriter who never runs out of topics to cover.

Customer Reviews

Randy Newman can do no wrong

I didn't hesitate for a minute when I saw that this was going to be available - pre-ordered it the first day. I love Randy's music! When it was finally available, it just so happened that I needed a lift and hearing "Harps and Angels" was just what I needed for a few laughs and some happy musical thoughts. Of course the songs are written, orchestrated, and performed to perfection. Keep telling it like it is, Randy --Thanks for another great one!

randy keeps bringing it

his music makes you smile and feel good and you can let your little brother listen to and and say he sounds like that toy story song but overal its a good album for everbody and for anytime.Plus the lyrics have some meaning so buy this album.

Perhaps America's Greatest Living Songwriter

Sadly, the rating for this superb album has been brought down by a few narrow-minded individuals (one of whom doesn't even know how to use actual words) who believe, without any real knowledge to back up their beliefs, that Randy Newman's music is no longer relevant. Nothing could be further from the truth. In "Harps and Angels," Mr. Newman once again delivers a sly and stinging commentary on modern American life which will be remembered long after the currently-popular rapper and pop star have left the scene. In fact, I would be so bold to say that many of Newman's tunes will one day be part of an updated "Great American Songbook." But, if you still think he's dead, listen to the ironic "I'm Dead (But I Don't Know It)" from BAD LOVE and think again!

Biography

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....
Full Bio