My Own Best Enemy

My Own Best Enemy

by Richard Marx
     
 

In the seven years since he released his last solo album, Richard Marx has kept busy writing material for pop superstars including 'N Sync, Josh Groban, and Barbra Streisand. The lauded tunesmith's greatest triumph, however, came in co-writing Luther Vandross's "Dance with My Father," which won the 2004 Grammy for Song of theSee more details below

Overview

In the seven years since he released his last solo album, Richard Marx has kept busy writing material for pop superstars including 'N Sync, Josh Groban, and Barbra Streisand. The lauded tunesmith's greatest triumph, however, came in co-writing Luther Vandross's "Dance with My Father," which won the 2004 Grammy for Song of the Year. My Own Best Enemy returns Marx to his career as a performer with a dozen songs that are more bluntly honest than anything he's previously recorded. He pleads for forgiveness amid the lush strings on the bittersweet "Ready to Fly," just as he's waiting for the other shoe to drop on the rocker "When You're Gone," which features a tasty guitar solo by country artist Keith Urban. Marx confesses to ennui in a relationship on "Nothin' Left to Say," with its loping rhythm and Collective Soul–like guitar intro, and offers a touching tribute to his late father on the uplifting "The Other Side," accented by a mix of string arrangements and keyboards. Even when Marx reflects on better days -- as on the singsong "Everything Good," buoyed by jangly acoustic guitar and sunny harmonies -- he still manages to squeeze in a solemn line or two. He leavens the album's lyrical heaviness with the optimistic "Love Goes On," with its cheery call-and-response vocals and edgy hooks. Whether his mood is gloomy or lighthearted, My Own Best Enemy marks a welcome homecoming for a potent pop singer-songwriter.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Johnny Loftus
My Own Best Enemy arrives in the midst of Richard Marx's thriving career as a producer and songwriter, and in particular his Song of the Year Grammy with Luther Vandross for "Dance With My Father." You'd think these successes would sour him on another solo outing, especially since 1997's Flesh & Bone and the 2000 self-released LP Days in Avalon didn't exactly ignite soft rock radio. The opposite, however, seems to be true. Working comfortably within the adult pop realm (instead of grudgingly accepting the genre as his fate), Marx puts forth a solid effort tinged not only with engagingly modern production and arrangements, but subtle personal reflections and just a little bit of that "Don't Mean Nothin'" grit. "When You're Gone" is the single, reintroducing Marx's grainy smooth voice over a slick yet rousing backing track helped along by the guitar and supporting vocals of pal Keith Urban. The Nashville connection continues with "Love Goes On" -- Jessica Andrews contributes chorus harmonies, and the nicely appointed cut's a steel guitar overdub away from contemporary country hit status. Later, "Someone Special" acts on that Music City pacing and steel guitar urge; it's essentially a Lonestar song sung by Marx. My Own Best Enemy does stick a little too closely to its slick formula, and the lush production smooths its edges. But Marx keeps reaching deep into his vocal chords and pulling out that legitimizing scratchiness he's always relied on. The midtempo sameness of Enemy also highlights Marx's slower material and his talent for deftly altering the mood. The quiet, simply romantic "Again" features some really nice flourishes of watery, echoing guitar, while slight electronic percussion patters in the background of "The Other Side"'s bruised-heart urgency. The two songs are emotional opposites, yet they never stray from an easily digestible adult pop sound. It takes true talent to sound genuine over what could've been maudlin.

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Product Details

Release Date:
08/10/2004
Label:
Emi Mod Afw
UPC:
0724359171920
catalogNumber:
91719
Rank:
69154

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Richard Marx   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals,Background Vocals,Synthesizer Bass
Michael Thompson   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Eric Darken   Percussion
David Angell   Violin
Gregg Bissonette   Drums
Steve Brewster   Drums
Mark Browne   Bass
David Cole   Synthesizer,Keyboards
J.T. Corenflos   Guitar,Electric Guitar
David Davison   Violin
Connie Ellisor   Violin
Shane Fontayne   Guitar,Electric Guitar
Paul Franklin   Steel Guitar
Bruce Gaitsch   Acoustic Guitar
Jim Grosjean   Viola
Connie Heard   Violin
Anthony LaMarchina   Cello
Michael Landau   Guitar,Electric Guitar,Soloist
Lance Morrison   Bass
Pamela Sixfin   Violin
Chris Teal   Violin
Catherine Umstead   Violin
Gary VanOsdale   Viola
Mary Kathryn Van Osdale   Violin
Kris Wilkinson   Viola
Glenn Worf   Bass,Bass Guitar
Matt Laug   Drums
Carl Rabinowitz   Cello
Matt Walker   Drums
Keith Urban   Guitar,Background Vocals,Soloist
Gerald Greer   Violin
Gary W. Smith   Keyboards,Hammond Organ
Jessica Andrews   Background Vocals
Stephen Balderston   Cello
Sari Reist   Cello
Stephen Balderston   Guitar

Technical Credits

Fee Waybill   Composer
David Cole   Producer,Engineer,String Arrangements,Audio Production
Arif Mardin   String Arrangements
Richard Marx   Composer,Producer,String Arrangements,Audio Production
Beth Middleworth   Art Direction
Paul Elledge   Cover Photo
Matt Prock   Engineer
John Blasucci   drum programming
Cill Colnot   Orchestration,Cello Arrangement

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