Skip directly to content
Browse by:
  • Friday, August 4, 2017
    Randy Newman's "Dark Matter" Out Now on Nonesuch; First Album of New Material Since 2008

    Dark Matter, Randy Newman's first album of new material in nine years, is out now on CD and digitally from Nonesuch Records, with the vinyl due August 18. The record is the follow-up to 2008's acclaimed Harps and Angels. Dark Matter was recorded in Los Angeles and produced by long-time Newman collaborators Mitchell Froom, Lenny Waronker, and David Boucher. The album's nine songs include songs about the Kennedy brothers, Sonny Boy Williamson, Vladimir Putin, science vs. religion, love and loss, and more.

    To pick up a copy of Dark Matter, head to your local music shop, iTunes, Amazon, and the Nonesuch Store, where CD orders and vinyl pre-orders include a download of the complete album at checkout. It can also be heard on Spotify and Apple Music. You can watch the videos for the album tracks "Putin" and "Sonny Boy" below.

    Randy Newman "remains first and foremost a craftsman of song, capable of telling ordinary stories in ways no one quite has before," says NPR in selecting Dark Matter as a First Listen. Newman is "still at the top of his game on his first studio album of all-new material in nine years," says the Associated Press. "Dark Matter is a typically engaging mix of topical tunes, quirky characters, history lessons and wry asides." The Independent (UK) gives it four stars and names it Album of the Week, as do the Times of London, Daily Mail, and the Irish Times, which gives it four stars and calls it "a late career high for the master songsmith." Q gives it four stars and concludes: "There's still nobody like Randy Newman."

    Dark Matter "demonstrates that the man who pioneered the untrustworthy-narrator approach to post-Beatles songwriting still does it better than anyone," says Paste magazine, who spoke with Newman in an interview you can read here.

    Newman performed "Putin" on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert earlier this week, which you can watch here. He was a guest on WNYC's Leonard Lopate show yesterday, discussing the album with Lopate and performing songs from it; you can hear it here.

    Newman, who is known for writing from the perspective of various narrators, many of whom are unreliable, tried something new on Dark Matter: "If there is anything consistent about the songs, there is often more than one voice, in the big ones, and it's different for me, a difficult thing to bring off, to make it comprehensible," he says. "I think it works. They cover more ground than most songs do and portray a number of different characters. Audiences are smart. They'll understand the songs. I hope they like them as well.

    "I'm proud of the record," Newman continues. "I think it's entertaining—I hope it's entertaining—and that's eighty percent of what I try to do. Also, I'm doing something different than I've ever done before. It's a step forward for me. And considering how long I've been doing this, I'm kinda proud of that."

    After starting his songwriting career as a teenager, Newman began recording as a singer and pianist in 1968 with a self-titled album. Throughout the 1970s, he released several other acclaimed albums such as 12 Songs, Sail Away, and Good Old Boys. In addition to his solo recordings and regular international touring, Newman began composing and scoring for films in the 1980s. The list of movies he has worked on since then includes The Natural, Awakenings, Ragtime, all three Toy Story pictures, Seabiscuit, James and the Giant Peach, A Bug's Life, and most recently, Disney/Pixar's Cars 3.

    Between 2003 and 2016, Nonesuch released three volumes of The Randy Newman Songbook, comprising solo recordings of songs from throughout Newman's five-decade career, along with a three-CD box set of all volumes (a four-LP, limited-edition vinyl version included bonus tracks). The New York Times said of the first disc: "The great craftsmanship is more apparent in the stripped-down context," and the Associated Press said, "Few singer-songwriters could inject more new life into solo piano versions of their work than Randy Newman." In 2011, the label released a live CD and DVD recorded at London's intimate LSO St. Luke's, accompanied by the BBC Concert Orchestra led by Robert Ziegler.

    Randy Newman's many honors include six Grammys, three Emmys, and two Academy Awards, as well as a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013—the same year he was given an Ivor Novello PRS for Music Special International Award. Newman also was presented with a PEN New England Song Lyrics of Literary Excellence Award in 2014.

    RANDY NEWMAN ON TOUR

    Aug 6 Belly Up Aspen, CO
    Aug 7 Denver Botanic Gardens Denver, CO
    Aug 24 Center for the Arts Jackson, WY
         
    Sep 13 Sandler Center for the Performing Arts Virginia Beach, VA
    Sep 15 Mayo Performing Arts Center Morristown, NJ
    Sep 16 Troy Savings Bank Music Hall Troy, NY
    Sep 18 The Birchmere Alexandria, VA
    Sep 19 The Birchmere Alexandria, VA
    Sep 21 Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts Annapolis, MD
    Sep 24 Keswick Theatre Glenside, PA
         
    Oct 6 Uptown Theater Napa, CA
    Oct 10 Revolution Hall Portland, OR
    Oct 12 Edmonds Center for the Arts Edmonds, WA
    Oct 18&19 City Winery (Sold Out) Chicago, IL
         
    Nov 17 Atlanta Symphony Hall Atlanta, GA
    Nov 19 Capitol Theatre Clearwater, FL
    Nov 21 Hayes Hall Naples, FL
         
    Journal Articles:

Enjoy This Post?

Share This Post

Randy Newman's "Dark Matter" Out Now on Nonesuch; First Album of New Material Since 2008

Browse by:
nonesuch's picture
on August 4, 2017 - 8:30am
Publish date: 
Friday, August 4, 2017 - 08:30
Excerpt: 

Dark Matter, Randy Newman's first album of new material in nine years, is out now on CD and digitally from Nonesuch, with the vinyl due August 18. Produced by long-time Newman collaborators Mitchell Froom, Lenny Waronker, and David Boucher, the album includes songs about Vladimir Putin, the Kennedy brothers, Sonny Boy Williamson, science vs. religion, love and loss, and more. NPR says Newman is "capable of telling ordinary stories in ways no one quite has before." He is "still at the top of his game," says the AP.

Copy: 

Dark Matter, Randy Newman's first album of new material in nine years, is out now on CD and digitally from Nonesuch Records, with the vinyl due August 18. The record is the follow-up to 2008's acclaimed Harps and Angels. Dark Matter was recorded in Los Angeles and produced by long-time Newman collaborators Mitchell Froom, Lenny Waronker, and David Boucher. The album's nine songs include songs about the Kennedy brothers, Sonny Boy Williamson, Vladimir Putin, science vs. religion, love and loss, and more.

To pick up a copy of Dark Matter, head to your local music shop, iTunes, Amazon, and the Nonesuch Store, where CD orders and vinyl pre-orders include a download of the complete album at checkout. It can also be heard on Spotify and Apple Music. You can watch the videos for the album tracks "Putin" and "Sonny Boy" below.

Randy Newman "remains first and foremost a craftsman of song, capable of telling ordinary stories in ways no one quite has before," says NPR in selecting Dark Matter as a First Listen. Newman is "still at the top of his game on his first studio album of all-new material in nine years," says the Associated Press. "Dark Matter is a typically engaging mix of topical tunes, quirky characters, history lessons and wry asides." The Independent (UK) gives it four stars and names it Album of the Week, as do the Times of London, Daily Mail, and the Irish Times, which gives it four stars and calls it "a late career high for the master songsmith." Q gives it four stars and concludes: "There's still nobody like Randy Newman."

Dark Matter "demonstrates that the man who pioneered the untrustworthy-narrator approach to post-Beatles songwriting still does it better than anyone," says Paste magazine, who spoke with Newman in an interview you can read here.

Newman performed "Putin" on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert earlier this week, which you can watch here. He was a guest on WNYC's Leonard Lopate show yesterday, discussing the album with Lopate and performing songs from it; you can hear it here.

Newman, who is known for writing from the perspective of various narrators, many of whom are unreliable, tried something new on Dark Matter: "If there is anything consistent about the songs, there is often more than one voice, in the big ones, and it's different for me, a difficult thing to bring off, to make it comprehensible," he says. "I think it works. They cover more ground than most songs do and portray a number of different characters. Audiences are smart. They'll understand the songs. I hope they like them as well.

"I'm proud of the record," Newman continues. "I think it's entertaining—I hope it's entertaining—and that's eighty percent of what I try to do. Also, I'm doing something different than I've ever done before. It's a step forward for me. And considering how long I've been doing this, I'm kinda proud of that."

After starting his songwriting career as a teenager, Newman began recording as a singer and pianist in 1968 with a self-titled album. Throughout the 1970s, he released several other acclaimed albums such as 12 Songs, Sail Away, and Good Old Boys. In addition to his solo recordings and regular international touring, Newman began composing and scoring for films in the 1980s. The list of movies he has worked on since then includes The Natural, Awakenings, Ragtime, all three Toy Story pictures, Seabiscuit, James and the Giant Peach, A Bug's Life, and most recently, Disney/Pixar's Cars 3.

Between 2003 and 2016, Nonesuch released three volumes of The Randy Newman Songbook, comprising solo recordings of songs from throughout Newman's five-decade career, along with a three-CD box set of all volumes (a four-LP, limited-edition vinyl version included bonus tracks). The New York Times said of the first disc: "The great craftsmanship is more apparent in the stripped-down context," and the Associated Press said, "Few singer-songwriters could inject more new life into solo piano versions of their work than Randy Newman." In 2011, the label released a live CD and DVD recorded at London's intimate LSO St. Luke's, accompanied by the BBC Concert Orchestra led by Robert Ziegler.

Randy Newman's many honors include six Grammys, three Emmys, and two Academy Awards, as well as a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013—the same year he was given an Ivor Novello PRS for Music Special International Award. Newman also was presented with a PEN New England Song Lyrics of Literary Excellence Award in 2014.

RANDY NEWMAN ON TOUR

Aug 6 Belly Up Aspen, CO
Aug 7 Denver Botanic Gardens Denver, CO
Aug 24 Center for the Arts Jackson, WY
     
Sep 13 Sandler Center for the Performing Arts Virginia Beach, VA
Sep 15 Mayo Performing Arts Center Morristown, NJ
Sep 16 Troy Savings Bank Music Hall Troy, NY
Sep 18 The Birchmere Alexandria, VA
Sep 19 The Birchmere Alexandria, VA
Sep 21 Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts Annapolis, MD
Sep 24 Keswick Theatre Glenside, PA
     
Oct 6 Uptown Theater Napa, CA
Oct 10 Revolution Hall Portland, OR
Oct 12 Edmonds Center for the Arts Edmonds, WA
Oct 18&19 City Winery (Sold Out) Chicago, IL
     
Nov 17 Atlanta Symphony Hall Atlanta, GA
Nov 19 Capitol Theatre Clearwater, FL
Nov 21 Hayes Hall Naples, FL
     
featuredimage: 
Randy Newman: "Dark Matter" [cover]
[{"parent":{"title":"Get on the list !","body":" Get exclusive information about NONESUCH tour dates, video premieres and special announcements ","field_newsletter_id":"14075483","field_label_list_id":"6389157","field_display_rates":"-1","field_preview_mode":"false","field_lbox_height":"","field_lbox_width":"","field_toaster_timeout":"16000","field_toaster_position":"From Bottom","field_turnkey_height":"800"}}]

Performs On