The Randy Newman Songbook, Vol. 1

The Randy Newman Songbook, Vol. 1

by Randy Newman
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The Randy Newman Songbook, Vol. 1

If anyone's entitled to revisit his past work, it's Randy Newman. After all, over the course of the past three decades, he's evolved from acid-tongued social commentator to family-friendly soundtrack maestro (see Toy Story), with plenty of stops along the way. On this 18-song set, Newman cycles back to the beginning of his career and reimagines some favorites in stark, solo fashion, stripping away everything but voice and piano. On some songs, like the eerie slave-trade commentary "Sail Away," that's not such a major reinvention, but on more rollicking songs -- the hedonistic smirkfest "Mama Told Me Not to Come," for one -- the change is vast. The disc is nicely balanced between Newman's most provocative work, such as the fretfully agnostic "God's Song," and his more wistful side, vividly displayed on "Marie." Newman's voice has grown more weather-beaten over the years, which adds an extra layer of poignancy to the more reflective numbers and a wizened tenor to the more doctrinaire tracks. Interestingly, even the set's most topical tunes have withstood the test of time remarkably well: The Vietnam-era "Political Science" can be transposed to modern-day war without a single tweak, while "Lonely at the Top" is every bit as relevant in its lampooning of celebrity status. Through his more recent work, Newman has proven his accessibility to the masses, making this easy-on-the-ears set an ideal vehicle to drive his more acerbic points into the heart of the mainstream.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/30/2003
Label: Nonesuch
UPC: 0075597968927
catalogNumber: 79689

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The Randy Newman Songbook, Vol. 1 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great collection. I hope there will be a continuation of this. Not only does this show the artistry of Randy's song writing skills, it also show how well he can tickle the keys. This will give hours and hours of pleasure to the ears.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am amazed every time I listen to this album at the great lyrics and the great musical talent of Randy Newman. Each of the songs could relate to various phases of my life and some of my life experiences. I came away from listening to this album with the notion that simple musical tones and lyrics are still the best. I look forward to patterning my musical studies using this album as the basis.