Results for Randy Newman

reviews
Harps and AngelsHarps and Angels available on iTunes

Randy Newman Harps and Angels

"Anti-singer-songwriter" Randy Newman just released his first new album in nine years called Harps and Angels. The Oscar and Emmy-winning musician, who has been best known lately for his movie soundtracks, is again combining humor and politics with his New Orleans-style piano playing — a combination Jim describes as being as poignant as popular music can get. Newman's searing critiques are brilliant, prompting Jim to give the album a Buy It. Greg agrees, noting that Newman accurately casts stones at himself as well as others, and warns listeners that they won't hear a lot of contemporary sounds. But, he thinks Newman is as good as ever and also gives Harps and Angels a Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 140
Dark MatterDark Matter available on iTunes

Randy Newman Dark Matter

Dark Matter is Randy Newman's first album in nine years. Greg notes that although Newman has been awarded Oscars, Emmys, and Grammys, he remains a cult figure for his darkly satirical songwriting. Although Newman's pop career has not been nearly as commercially successful, there's much more to him than "Short People" and his well-known soundtrack work. This album features narratives about a number of notables, including "Sonny Boy", which was written from the perspective of blues great Sonny Boy Williamson, and "Putin," imagining Russian president Vladimir Putin as a song and dance man. Greg thinks that many of the songs are brilliant. He says there is no one out there like Newman, and gives the album a Buy It. But Jim says that while the songs sound like great ideas on paper, he doesn't find them listenable as execued. Jim adds that though he admires and respects Randy Newman, he just doesn‘t want to listen to him. Jim can’t give Dark Matter anything better than a Trash It because he never wants to hear it again.

JimGreg
Go to episode 612
lists

Songs About America

Sound Opinions celebrates Independence Day this week with Jim and Greg's favorite Songs about America. These are great rock songs that capture our country's spirit — the good, the bad and the ugly.

Go to episode 136

Apology Songs

There are a lot of ways to say“I'm sorry,”but what better method than through song. Jim, Greg and a few listeners share their favorite apology tracks.

Go to episode 581
news

Music News

Pop music invaded the Academy Awards last week. Veteran singer/songwriter Randy Newman won the Oscar for Best Original Song. It was Newman's twentieth nomination, but only second win. Despite that, it is revenue from soundtracks like Toy Story that have enabled him to be so prolific. You can‘t count on the music industry alone, which Newman compared to a“bank that’s already been robbed.”Another rocker, Trent Reznor, went home with the Best Original Score prize for The Social Network. That category is usually dominated by composers like James Horner and Hans Zimmer. Zimmer, for one, was hopeful that Reznor's win would open doors for more non-traditional musicians in film.

If you've never heard of The Seeds, chances are you've heard their tunes. The garage rock band's music has been featured in a number of movies and commercials and covered by tons of artists. But according to lead singer Sky Saxon's estate, no royalties have been coming in. Saxon died in 2009, and now his estate is suing his former label and music publisher for royalties.

Go to episode 275

Music News

2016 continues to be an awful year for musical deaths, and we've had four more in recent weeks. First, we lost Leon Russell, the famous session player and solo artist who recorded with a diverse roster of artists from Frank Sinatra to Aretha Franklin. The pianist and singer-songwriter Mose Allison also died recently at 89. Allison blended country blues and bebop and influenced rock musicians from Randy Newman to Pete Townshend. Though less of a household name, archivist Billy Miller also made great contributions to rock music. As co-founder of Norton Records, he brought much needed attention to neglected artists like Hasil Adkins, Link Wray, and The Sonics.

Leonard Cohen But the most significant loss was Leonard Cohen. The Canadian singer-songwriter established himself on the New York scene with his debut album Songs of Leonard Cohen in 1967. That record provided inspiration to filmmaker Robert Altman on his 1971 anti-western McCabe & Mrs. Miller, a collaboration that Greg feels is a key part of Cohen's career. Cohen's records, however, were often ill-served by overproduction, with his voice pushed to the rear. It took interpretations bu other artists to bring the songs to their full potential, most notably on the many covers of his most famous tune "Hallelujah," from John Cale to Jeff Buckley to Kate McKinnon on SNL. But remarkably, Cohen figured things out toward the end of his life. He played countless shows in the past decade and released some of the strongest albums of his career in his seventies and eighties. In fact, for the uninitiated listener, Jim and Greg recommend beginning with his 2009 Live in London album featuring his greatest songs in new, tighter arrangements.

Go to episode 573