Land of Dreams by Randy Newman

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Land of Dreams by Randy Newman
Land of Dreams by Randy Newman

Album Released: 1988

Land of Dreams ::: Artwork

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1.Dixie Flyer4:08
2.New Orleans Wins The War3:32
3.Four Eyes3:38
4.Falling In Love3:01
5.Something Special3:07
6.Bad News From Home2:47
7.Roll With The Punches3:27
8.Masterman And Baby J3:29
9.Red Bandana2:36
10.Follow The Flag2:14
11.It's Money That Matters4:07
12.I Want You To Hurt Like I Do4:05


It took Newman five long years after Trouble in Paradise to finally release this follow-up. He wasn't being lazy or anything - rather, he was enjoying his new career as a full-time movie soundtrack composer.

One movie he worked on was that one about Robert Redford hitting baseballs. Hey, I like that movie! and from what I remember, it had good music on it too! (I'll tell you right now that I'm not going to review any of Newman's movie soundtracks. While I admit it would be fun reviewing Steve Martin and Martin Short performing “My Little Buttercup”, I decided that wouldn't be the best use of my time ... as far as reviewing music on this website is a good use of my time goes).

If you thought five years was an ungodly lull, you ain't seen nothing yet. It wouldn't be until 1999 that he'd release a proper follow-up to this album. There was a musical that he wrote and performed in, but that's not a proper pop album is it? Pop albums were reduced to things he would work on intermittently in between movie soundtracks. Speaking as someone who likes listening to his pop albums, I'm sorta sad. Though I shouldn't mope, let us enjoy these Randy Newman pop albums while we can!

Land of Dreams opens with “Dixie Flyer”, a beautiful piano-centered ballad with sentimental lyrics, a gorgeous melody, and a tiny bit of slide guitar in the background. That's followed with the warm-hearted nostalgic ballad “New Orleans Won the War” with its jazzy undertones. Ah, you know what that means? ... he's returned to writing songs that he used to write in the early 1970's.

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Rated: album ratingalbum ratingalbum ratingalbum ratingalbum ratingalbum ratingalbum rating
by Reviewer: Don Ignacio (blogging at Don Ignacio's Album Reviews)

For several reasons, Land of Dreams deserved extra attention when it was released. Not only was it Newman's first album in nearly six years (disregarding soundtracks), it was also produced by a varied bunch of producers, ranging from Mark Knopfler, composer James Newton-Howard and ... of all people, Jeff Lynne (remember “The Story of a Rock & Roll Band”?)!

That doesn’t look very promising on paper and granted, Land of Dreams ain’t no Sail Away or Good Old Boys, but it’s another satisfying album, to a large extent because of the opening tracks.

Whereas Newman had always been one of the few non-confessional Californian songwriters, one that preferred offering enchanting snapshots of days gone by, or a gallery of emotionally-bankrupt misfits and morally-bereft victims, “Dixie Flyer” and “New Orleans Wins the War” are obviously autobiographical songs. The first describes how an infant Newman and his mother moved from Los Angeles to New Orleans (the 'land of dreams'), while his father was fighting in WWII. The music that accompanies this hopeful tale is an appropriately good-spirited slice of country/pop, while the Bayou gem of “New Orleans” continues the chronological storyline with a sweet‘n’sour taste, as his father returns from the war (but for They started to party and partied some more, ‘cause New Orleans had won the war, we knew we’d do it, we done whipped the Yankees).

The miniature synth-opera of “Four Eyes” is a huge hyperbole to accompany a tale of being ridiculed as a glasses-wearing toddler (Four Eyes! Look like you’re dead!), and it’s impossible not to see this as a childhood trauma translated into a nearly grotesque piece of abrasive theatre. However, after this seemingly out-of-place song, Newman treads on more familiar ground again - sometimes with average results - but a few of these cuts are unjustly neglected.

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Rated: album ratingalbum ratingalbum ratingalbum ratingalbum ratingalbum ratingalbum rating
by Reviewer: Guy Peters (blogging at Guy's Music Review Site)