Randy Newman Hopes He Hasn’t Lost You After All These Years

noah | August 4, 2008 10:00 am

From time to time, we like to round up the all-important, all-summarizing last sentences of the biggest new-music reviews. Today’s entry is Harps And Angels, the first full-length by perennial Oscar nominee Randy Newman since 1999, which hits stores tomorrow.

• “By the same token it’s probably no coincidence that the orchestra lays low on the album’s most earnest songs. ‘Losing You’ and ‘Feels Like Home,’ conveying heartache and gratitude respectively, capture Mr. Newman’s sweeter side. Those aren’t the funniest or most clever songs on the album, and maybe not the truest to his basic temperament, but they are the ones we’ll still be hearing years from now.” [NYT]

• “For balance, he includes a couple of would-be standards: a heart-worn ‘Losing You’ and a reprise of his lovely 1994 ballad, ‘Feels Like Home.’ Newman could’ve easily fashioned a career out of such transparently emotional songs. But what fun would that’ve been?” [Chicago Tribune]

• “It’s hugely likable, none the less. ‘Laugh and Be Happy’ sounds like something written for Toy Story while being about US immigration. By contrast, ‘Losing You,’ inspired by war survivors grieving over a dead child, and ‘Feels Like Home,’ a song revived from several years back, capture the pathos of Newman’s best work. Like Updike, he’s still one of his country’s best chroniclers, a shrewd patriot indeed.” [Guardian]

• “The gorgeously bummed-out love song ‘Losing You’ is bound to be covered many times over by singers with prettier voices than Newman’s, to less emotionally wrenching effect than it has here. The rest of Harps & Angels is all gloriously, grumpily and singularly Newman’s own.” [Philadelphia Inquirer]