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Songs Pointed and Pointless

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All Music Guide - Mark Deming
Given that he's nearly as well known as Spinal Tap bassist Derek Smalls as he is for providing the voice of C. Montgomery Burns among many other characters on The Simpsons, most fans are likely aware that Harry Shearer has a keen talent for music as well as comedy, and on his 2007 album Songs Pointed and Pointless, Shearer tries to embrace the best of both worlds, writing and performing 13 pop tunes that give him plenty of room to show off his sharply satirical wit. While one of the songs on Songs Pointed and Pointless was written for the movie A Mighty Wind but didn't make the cut "Corn Wine" and another was penned for Shearer's ill-fated directorial effort Teddy Bears ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
Given that he's nearly as well known as Spinal Tap bassist Derek Smalls as he is for providing the voice of C. Montgomery Burns among many other characters on The Simpsons, most fans are likely aware that Harry Shearer has a keen talent for music as well as comedy, and on his 2007 album Songs Pointed and Pointless, Shearer tries to embrace the best of both worlds, writing and performing 13 pop tunes that give him plenty of room to show off his sharply satirical wit. While one of the songs on Songs Pointed and Pointless was written for the movie A Mighty Wind but didn't make the cut "Corn Wine" and another was penned for Shearer's ill-fated directorial effort Teddy Bears Picnic "New York Is My Lady", the rest were created for Shearer's public radio series Le Show and generally focus on various topics that have been in the news in recent years -- flag burning "Let the Flag Burners Fry [On the Fourth of July]", the wake of Hurricane Katrina "Make New Orleans Whole", the politics of torture "Waterboardin', USA", the myriad failings of the Bush administration "Crossing Fingers" and "Connect the Dots", and Michael Jackson's career woes "Sugar Daddy". Shearer can write a strong and catchy melody, and as a skillful musical satirist he can conjure up the musical rudiments of Brian Wilson's surf music, Michael Jackson's funk-leaning pop, New Orleans second-line R&B, and Kingston Trio-era folk with grace and accuracy. As a lyricist, Shearer shows no mercy, which works to his advantage when he's taking on the White House but seems a bit much when he's going on about Elvis Presley's digestive problems hardly a new or original topic, and as a singer he's hit and miss, especially when he's impersonating George W. Bush try as he might, Shearer can't help sounding a lot more like Dubya's daddy. The high points of Songs Pointed and Pointless are very high indeed, and Shearer gets some very impressive help in the studio Judith Owens, his wife, does a wicked Shirley Bassey imitation on "Connect the Dots" and Jeffrey Foskett brings an authentic 1970s Beach Boys sound to "Waterboardin', USA" and "American Guys on Mars", but enough of it is great that it's hard not to be disappointed by the tunes that are merely good.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/7/2007
  • Label: COURGETTE RECORDS
  • UPC: 856763001019
  • Catalog Number: 630010

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Harry Shearer Primary Artist, Bass, Keyboards, Vocals, Background Vocals
David Torkanowsky Piano, Keyboards
Gregg Bissonette Drums
Russ Kunkel Drums
Dean Parks Guitar
George Porter Jr. Bass, Bass Guitar
Shannon Powell Drums
Robby Scharf Bass, Bass Guitar
Shane Theriot Guitar
C.J. Vancston Keyboards
Jeffrey "C.J." Vanston Keyboards
Raymond Weber Drums
Jeffrey Foskett Guitar, Background Vocals
Judith Owen Vocals, Background Vocals
Bernie Barlow Background Vocals
Alan Barrows Mandolin, Background Vocals
Greg Bisonnette Drums
Jerry Palter Background Vocals
Gregg Bisonnette Drums
Mark Shubb Bass Guitar
Technical Credits
David Torkanowsky Arranger, Producer, Audio Production
John Fischbach Engineer, Mastering
Gary Griffin Arranger, Producer, Engineer, Audio Production
C.J. Vancston Audio Production
Jeffrey "C.J." Vanston Programming, Producer, Engineer
Harry Shearer Composer
Jeffrey Foskett Arranger, Producer, Audio Production
Brian Porizek Art Direction
Rich Tosi Engineer
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