“The Randy Newman Songbook Vol. 1” (Nonesuch)
It takes nothing away from his terrific 35-year-old catalog of albums to say that this collection of newly recorded solo versions of 18 Newman classics showcase the composer and lyricist’s art. The spare arrangements focus attention on his sophisticated melodies, his delicate piano playing and his expressive, idiosyncratic phrasing, as well as his acute wit and cutting satire. The song selection is impeccable, stretching from early favorites like “I Think It’s Going to Rain Today” to hits like “It’s Money That I Love” and a few excerpts from his movie scores. Bring on Volume 2! [5/2/04 ]
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