As I was driving from Seattle to Pullman the other day, I happened to pass a herd of sheep.
I thought 'that's weird', because I've gone back and forth between Seattle and Pullman at least a dozen times by now, and I don't remember ever seeing sheep. But as sheep are cute, I took my eyes off the road briefly to see what shenanigans they were up to - I noticed that a sheep nearby was black, and that immediately made me think of this Randy Newman album.
Not only is the album cover extremely *black*, but the music within is unlike any other Randy Newman recording. In fact, Born Again
is so uncharacteristic of Newman that if he didn't have such a distinctive singing voice, you might question whether he was behind this album at all ... and judging by the face paint, Newman himself might not have believed he was behind it (I guess Kiss didn't need a piano player).
I wonder if he'd realised that Little Criminals
was a bit pale, and he decided to use Born Again
as a chance to explore new musical horizons. Probably. What's more, I'm usually thrilled to hear what an artist sounds like trying to step out of their comfort zone. And since Randy Newman is such a talented singer/songwriter, it's especially interesting to hear what odd things he would come up with in this 'experiment'. Not everything on here is a success, but let me tell you right now that there are some very
The greatest song in the history of the planet is called “The Story of a Rock and Roll Band”, and you'll find it right here on this album! (OK, it might not actually be the greatest song on the planet, but I like it lots). It's an ELO parody of all things, and he uses their trademark heavy-orchestral arrangements but in a comical fashion. Every little thing he adds to the mix, from those off-kilter strings to that goofy operatic passage, is pure gold.
by Reviewer: Don Ignacio
(blogging at Don Ignacio's Album Reviews