Randy Newman, new record coming

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Davey the Fat Boy
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Re: Randy Newman, new record coming

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 27 Jul 2017, 17:57

When you go to see Paul McCartney and he can't hit the notes, it is a bit discomforting. You make allowances because he is Paul McCartney, but it's the elephant in the stadium.

When you go to see Bob Dylan, his voice sounds completely different than the guy on any of his classic records. Even as you justify that he gets something interesting out of those old Sinatra songs...it is still just a bit discomforting how ravaged his voice sounds.

Randy Newman sounds like Randy Newman. He never really could hit those notes, so it's not all that jarring if he hits a few less now. Hell, even listening to him talk on that Marc Maron interview provides a more satisfying vocal performance than most singers of Newman's vintage can deliver these days.
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Re: Randy Newman, new record coming

Postby Sneehosifatz » 27 Jul 2017, 18:05

I agree. I think his voice is wonderful. Few things have given me as much pleasure as taking a kid to a movie and having Randy Newman start singing on the soundtrack.
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Re: Randy Newman, new record coming

Postby Bride Of Sea Of Tunes » 28 Jul 2017, 08:35

Davey the Fat Boy wrote:Just got tickets to see him. They apparently come with an album for each ticket sold. Amazing how devalued albums are now, but I'm looking forward to having this one.

I'm also looking forward to seeing him again. With so many of the greats from his generation being either dead or of diminished abilities - it will be nice to see one of them who can still do what he always did. I guess it's a function of him not having been a real singer. There's no real degradation of his performance abilities to distract from things. At least, not from the recentish filmed performances I've seen.

We are fast approaching a day in which the folks who mattered pre-punk won't be there to be seen anymore. So I'm taking the opportunity to see the ones like Newman and The Zombies who still have something to give.


Striking post. Thanks for this.
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Re: Randy Newman, new record coming

Postby Sneehosifatz » 06 Aug 2017, 01:23

I love "Dark Matter". It's a lot like the 'Randy Newman' album with all the big arrangements but his creaky old voice kicks everything up a notch. I think the songs, the arrangements and the singing are all top notch. Anybody who hates his voice won't be won over but I can't think of the last Randy Newman album that I liked this much on first listen.
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Re: Randy Newman, new record coming

Postby Charlie O. » 06 Aug 2017, 03:44

I haven't had a chance to listen to it yet (I'm seriously backlogged!), but I did buy it - the first time I've bought a new RN album new since... well, gee, I can't remember, actually - maybe ever! I could've downloaded it for free (in fact, I did), but then I either heard or read one of the countless interviews he's been doing lately and he mentioned that he put $20,000 of his own money into it because he couldn't convince Nonesuch to pay for some orchestral sessions that he felt the songs really demanded. Now, I don't know that Newman really needs my money - he has to have made a boatload off the Pixar soundtracks alone, $20,000 probably isn't nearly as much to him as it would be to me - and obviously there are plenty of worthy but less-well-off musicians who routinely pay for their own recordings - but I nonetheless thought "Fuckin' A, Randy" and headed straight for the Amazon. Even without having heard it, I know that I could've done worse as impulse buying goes.
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Re: Randy Newman, new record coming

Postby Bent Fabric » 06 Aug 2017, 14:39

Davey the Fat Boy wrote:Just got tickets to see him. They apparently come with an album for each ticket sold. Amazing how devalued albums are now, but I'm looking forward to having this one.


Same here with Paul McCartney in a couple of months and Neil Young/Crazy Horse about five years ago. (More the "HERE you go!" and less the "looking forward").

I'm also looking forward to seeing him again. With so many of the greats from his generation being either dead or of diminished abilities - it will be nice to see one of them who can still do what he always did. I guess it's a function of him not having been a real singer. There's no real degradation of his performance abilities to distract from things. At least, not from the recentish filmed performances I've seen.


Lord knows what prompted it, but I had a conversation with a friend last night about the things that happen to the "human voice as instrument" over time. In many case, it can evolve and change in these potentially very satisfying ways - gains different characteristics, depth, resonance, timbre changes, narrative content/ability. There are good things that can happen (and I'm sure we all know about acoustic instruments that similarly "uncork" over a period of decades and wear and tear), and the sort of "shame of it" is that so many performing vocalists will have a repertoire composed almost entirely of their dozen or so best or best loved songs (a necessity born of so many factors) - I mean, I'm glad someone is out there singing those songs, but...it also seems like a drag that most veteran performers (let's use Micky Dolenz as shorthand here) are primarily using their new/modified instrument as a vehicle for mostly trying to sound like they did thirty years ago. The degrees to which they can individually do it are varying, but the point is...a well loved repertoire can sort of trap a person into using a beautiful vintage car in a perpetual emulation of a vehicle that just came off the lot.

We are fast approaching a day in which the folks who mattered pre-punk won't be there to be seen anymore. So I'm taking the opportunity to see the ones like Newman and The Zombies who still have something to give.


The "dwindling resource" effect. If that stuff is like oxygen to you, the sense of "breathe it in now" can become rather acute. I do the same thing. I don't really have the time, money or energy to go to every one of these things that comes to town, but I have prioritized certain performers based in sheer appreciation of "I'm increasingly fortunate that I'm alive simultaneous to their ability to still deliver in some moving and pleasing way."

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Re: Randy Newman, new record coming

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 11 Aug 2017, 19:03

Holy fucking shit!!! :o :o :o

It's not just a good Randy Newman album...it's a GREAT one! On first listen I'd put it at least on par with Little Criminals - maybe better.

Not a weak song on it.
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Re: Randy Newman, new record coming

Postby Charlie O. » 11 Aug 2017, 19:08

I wish I felt the same way. There isn't anything I really dislike, but I don't hear any truly great-by-Randy-Newman-standards songs either, except maybe "Lost Without You".

But then, I think Little Criminals is sub-par, too.
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Re: Randy Newman, new record coming

Postby Sneehosifatz » 11 Aug 2017, 19:33

really? I love "Little Criminals" like my first crush. Me - the Eagles hater! I hit "edit" to single out my favorites but god damn, I think it's ALL mighty good.

As for "Dark Matter" my nomination for straight, out of the gate Randy Newman classic is "Brothers". seriously, I've listened to that about 50 times since my last post. I think it's tremendous.

For all it's jokiness, I think the opening track might win a nomination in the long haul. I mean, what point is Randy making in that track? I think there is a point and It think the "getting there" is pretty enjoyable.
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Re: Randy Newman, new record coming

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 11 Aug 2017, 19:37

All of these songs are just brimming with ideas. It's amazing how expansive his vision is at this point in his career.

From a writing and arrangement standpoint, this one is closer to his debut album than anything else he's done.
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Re: Randy Newman, new record coming

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 11 Aug 2017, 19:43

Snee...I can't even pick out a favorite yet. I'm just grinning from ear to ear to hear this thing.

Those opening two songs...who expected that? I was hoping he'd put out something as strong as Harps & Angels or Bad Love...but this one is way beyond those.
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Re: Randy Newman, new record coming

Postby Sneehosifatz » 11 Aug 2017, 19:53

I think I agree but I also think I like "Bad Love" WAY better than you.
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Re: Randy Newman, new record coming

Postby Sneehosifatz » 11 Aug 2017, 19:58

"Harps and Angels" is good but the title track is the only one on my endless playlist.
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Re: Randy Newman, new record coming

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 11 Aug 2017, 20:05

Both of those albums were fine. But I felt like he'd settled into a groove in which his albums would have two or three new "Randy Newman classics" - then a bunch of filler.

The closest thing to filler here is It's a Jungle Out There, but I even think that one is marvelous.
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