Stereophile Names Randy Newman's Five-Star "Harps and Angels" Recording of the Month
Randy Newman's latest release, Harps and Angles, is Stereophile magazine's Recording of the Month, earning five stars for performance and four stars for sound. Writer Robert Baird sees it as a welcome return from Randy, a man "so capable of sweet melodies, tart, perceptive lyrics, and virtuoso arrangements and orchestration." Harps and Angels, he says, is
another collection of uniquely chiseled miniatures that vividly bring back memories of what a master he is of songcraft and how expressive his voicings can be, from the aw-shucks goofy to the ringingly resolute. A new quiver of wickedly pointed topical opinions provides this album with its edges, and a fresh reserve of humor, much of it self-deprecating, makes it all engaging and fun. In short, Randy Newman has done it again.
Baird praises the orchestrations throughout for adding "warmth and light via Newman's multilayered, multihued arrangements," crediting a "uniformly rich, transparent sound, which successfully highlights all of those delicate layers." He points in particular to the song "Losing You" as having "one of his most tender, heart-wrenching melodies" and compares "Feels Like Home" to "a Newman triumph from the past, 'Sail Away.'" Baird concludes that "Harps and Angels lacks a weak track" and sees as its "zenith" the controversial "Korean Parents" (see a recent post on the New York Times's Freakonomics blog)
calling it a "tightly written, smartly orchestrated show tune."
To read the full review of Stereophile's Recording of the Month, visit stereophile.com.
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