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Sail Away

Randy Newman

1972

Sail Away
Album Summary

Sail Away is an album by Randy Newman, released on May 23, 1972. It was produced by Lenny Waronker and Russ Titelman and issued on Reprise Records. While all of its songs were written and composed by Newman, several had already been recorded by other artists.

Wikipedia

Rating

2.99

Votes

11320

Genres

  • Singer Songwriter

Reviews

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Wed Jun 23 2021
2

How? How is there more than one Randy Newman album on this list? I haven't gotten a single John Coltrane album, not a single Charles Mingus album, but I have now gotten two Randy Newman albums. Fuck Randy Newman. His voice sounds like an inflatable bear with a slow leak. It sounds like Satan talking after inhaling helium. It is the auditory version of sitting down too long until your sciatic nerve falls asleep. The worst part of any Randy Newman song is all of the fucking Randy Newman. 2/5. The only reason this is not a 1 is because I kinda like You Can Leave Your Hat On. Fuck Randy Newman

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Thu May 27 2021
3

Not bad, but I just couldn't escape the feeling that I was listening to a Disney soundtrack.

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Mon Jul 04 2022
5

RaNdY NeWmAn DoEs DiSnEy SoNgS. What a weak, embarrassing take.

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Fri Jun 24 2022
5

He may not be the greatest singer, but Randy Newman is a brilliant songwriter and I think his voice works incredibly well with his writing style. At this point in his career, he's probably thought of mostly as a movie score/song composer. His ascerbic wit is on full display on this album. I think it's great even though my 2 favorite songs of his (Mama Told Me Not to Come and I Love LA) aren't on this record.

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Wed Nov 10 2021
3

Sail Away is another addition to the long list of songs that could be a genre labeled "Talking to Americans" if Rick M didn't already own that title. It reminds me of seeing Springsteen and the biggest US flag imaginable dropped as he opened with Born in the USA. Of course if you just saw the flag and listened to the chorus, you might think the song was pro USA. Hell, Reagan invited Bruce to the White House to perform it. Sail Away contains a similar facade of the wonderful USA and if you don't know either the relevance of Charleston Bay or what the word "wog" means, you might replace your poppy with a Stars and Stripes lapel pin, put on your MAGA hat and go about about your day with blissful ignorance.

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Wed Jan 27 2021
5

I love this album. Randy Newman is such a clever songwriter. Favorite song is Political Science

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Thu Apr 14 2022
5

Yusss. It can take a while to ‘get’ Randy Newman or take him seriously, but once it clicks it’s worth it. There’s humour. There’s satire. There are piercing home truths and humdrum observations side-by-side. There’s a blend of orchestral/New-Orleans-y ragtime pop that you don’t really get from anyone else. I think what I like most is that while his default position might be mockery, I reckon there’s plenty of affection and sincerity too. There are enough classics here to guarantee a 4. Does the rest of the album push it into genuine 5-star territory? I’m not sure; but as a devout Randy fan there was always going to be some rounding up involved. Wish he’d stop cancelling gigs I’m supposed to go to though.

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Fri Jun 25 2021
4

Randy is fun. I like when he observes things as they happen, or just says whatever comes to mind. A lovely “ear wash” after goddamn Slipknot

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Sun Jan 31 2021
4

This was such a solid album. I was actually surprised with how much I enjoyed it and I look forward to listening to it again later. From the lyrics along, I really couldn't figure out if Mr. Newman was for or against religion, or perhaps specifically against organized religion? I really started to questions things at God's Song (That's Why I Love Mankind). I may have to listen to the album a few times before I understand.

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Wed Feb 24 2021
5

I really like this one! I would consider downloading this one for listening again.

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Thu Nov 04 2021
5

I have lived with these songs since I was a kid. Part of the soundtrack of my life.

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Sun Nov 28 2021
5

God's Song nets this baby a 5 alone. Randy is the GOAT there are half a dozen classics on here

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Thu Dec 02 2021
5

My first memory of Randy Newman was as a little kid and "Short People" was being played all over and I just didn't get it - why was this guy so mean to short people? Of course my dad had to explain the satire to me and once I got it, I loved it. That was pretty much the last I'd heard Randy Newman outside the random cut (e.g. "I Love L.A.") as he would never really again be played on my rock radio stations. So when I discovered this album "Sail Away" only a few years ago it blew me away. Starting off with the title track "Sail Away" is pure genius - one of the saddest songs I've ever heard for obvious reasons when you quickly realize what it's really about. I'm not sure I would have been able to appreciate this album when I was a little younger but I'm a huge fan - the music is tremendous; occasionally to me sounding like Broadway tunes for people who really don't like Broadway tunes (mea culpa). I enjoy the *sound* of this record - the clarity and simplicity of the production centered around Newman's piano and voice while accented by perfect accompaniments - of particular note is Ry Cooder's slide guitar on "Last Night I Had a Dream." And Newman is the rare songwriter who just through his unique voice actually makes me listen to the lyrics which are most often brilliantly satirical - poking fun at religion, nationalism, exceptionalism - fits comfortably in with my worldview :) As one who is mostly a rock fan first and foremost, I absolutely love everything about this album - perhaps because it gives me a curveball in my listening habits - and there are no missteps in this whatsoever. 9/10 5 stars.

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Fri Mar 18 2022
1

Singer/song-writers are not always the favorite for this reviewer. There is no exception here with Randy Newman. While the talent of putting music and words together is an oversimplification of what Randy Newman does here, the bottom line for this review is the question of "Why?" Why is this important? This album is track after track of walking into a conversation that has been happening for some time, no context, no circling back, each song having its own self-contained continuity stoking zero interest as to whether or not the listener should care to listen. Truthfully, the mindset going into this album was one of open-minded and intentional patience, but that only asked the second question: "How?" How is this important, and to what degree of impact did this have on the world of music? No denigration of Mr. Newman or his music is intended here, a limited number of humans have his talent to tell a story and play the piano at the same time. In terms of an album though, this would probably have more appreciation at a dive bar, or lounge, complete with spirits and smokes. By all means, this should not discourage someone else from listening to the album, it was simply not for this listener.

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Fri Jan 29 2021
5

Great lyrics, great mood, so chill, one of a kind voice

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Wed Nov 10 2021
5

This album is amazing, Randy Newman has such a talent at writing these beautiful, emotional pieces that’s probably why disney had him write so many soundtracks 10/10

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Thu Nov 18 2021
5

I think I've probably only heard Randy's music because of Toy Story, but this wasn't at all what I expected. Loved the satire.

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Sun Apr 10 2022
5

Taken by complete surprise. The writing on here is just so ridiculously good. A real treat.

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Thu Sep 01 2022
5

I absolutely loved this album, and I had never heard it before. The arrangement was so clever, the lyrics were so wonderful and touching and thought provoking. I will definitely add this to my rotation.

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Thu Sep 08 2022
5

I’m not too familiar with Randy Newman and didn’t know what to expect. This album was a biting satire that sent up American exceptionalism and even flirted with the absurd. I’m also quite partial to Los Angeles orchestral pop so this album appealed to me musically as well. Overall this was a perfect album for me.

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Fri Nov 11 2022
5

Oh I know this song. And this one. Oh he wrote this one too? Wowsers. I feel poorly educated for not knowing Randy Newman's catalogue. My bad. And having such a unique voice, what a talent. No need to keep your hat on Randy, go flaunt it.

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Fri Nov 18 2022
5

I love Randy Newman, probably one of the sharpest, cynical, funny songwriters in American popular music. That he can combine drollery with poignancy, often in the same song, is impressive; married to lovely, jazzy piano arrangements, it's stellar. Sure, he's got a funny voice. It fits the music. Would a song about the slave trade like 'Sail Away' fly today? It's probably too glib to suit today's climate, despite its brilliance. A great collection of characterful songs by one of the best to ever do it.

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Wed Mar 15 2023
5

This is very fine storytelling. And not just in the lyrics. The music itself tells a story. It is no surprise that Newman has been so successful as a film composer. His songs themselves are cinematic. The opening and closing tracks are deviously beautiful: lovely melodies bring you in and then the lyrics kick you in the teeth. I'm sure I knew it at some point but maybe I'd forgotten that Newman wrote "You Can Leave Your Hat On." Listening to this album, it struck me how similar Randy Newman and Tom Waits are. I would love an album where they cover each other's tunes.

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Wed Mar 15 2023
5

I guess I'd forgotten that Randy Newman did anything but Pixar movie music and "Short People," and that's too bad. These were songs to listen to again and again, each time finding those brilliant little hidden gotchas that lurk under the affable, delightful surface.

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Fri Jan 22 2021
4

I enjoyed this. Plinky plonky storytelling.

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Fri Apr 12 2024
4

A songwriting masterclass. On the surface, it feels bright and smiley but there's darkness and shadows everywhere. This is what I want from a 70s LA record.

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Mon Oct 25 2021
3

Un excellent album de la part de notre ami Randy. Mention spéciale à l'interlude précédant You Can Leave Your Hat On au cours duquel on entend Jean-Luc Reichmann s'écrier "C'est la question COOO... C'est la question IIIIIIIINE..... C'est la fameuse question coquine...." sous les applaudissements rythmés du public.

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Fri Jan 21 2022
2

Newman and his honky-tonk, Ray Charles-dreaming piano, off-beat lyrics, drinking songs to intricate to drink to. Aiming for a wry smile.

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Thu Feb 15 2024
2

As a God fearing American, this was pretty g— Just kidding, this was boring and weirdly religious. Uncle Randy with the increasingly common L

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Sun Mar 03 2024
2

I just can't get past my distain for Newman's singing voice

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Thu Apr 11 2024
2

Well, they say the world's your oyster Man, but oysters ain't for me You're the belle of the ball But you ain't my cup of tea They always vote you Best in Show But this doggie disagrees 'Cause I like life in Paddy's Pub... There's a place for me, it's the place I go Where the beer is cheap, and the lights are low It's Paddy's Pub I like Paddy's Pub Let the record show The greatest place to go Is that bar called Paddy's Pub... [Harmonica Solo] I like life in Paddy's Pub...

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Mon May 03 2021
1

F'n Randy Newman... just... no. Even I have some standards.

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Thu Apr 21 2022
1

Gotta 😆 in the first 10 seconds I heard “you Got a Friend “ in my mind and BAM it is the same artist!!

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Thu Feb 15 2024
1

Oh no not this MF again. Here we go toy storying again. I don’t like this guy, i gave his last album a two and i will give this one a 1. please stop putting this guy in front of me. my patience are starting to run thin

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Sun Mar 10 2024
1

Can’t stand Randy Newman. He’s ruined most of Pixar.

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Thu Apr 04 2024
1

Have never been able to get into Randy Newman. All his songs sound exactly the same to me.

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Sat Jul 09 2022
5

Musically charming, understatedly elegant arrangements. Sly, unsentimental, frequently cynical lyrics. Randy Newman is a treasure. Fave Songs (All songs, from most to least favorite): Sail Away, Last Night I Had a Dream, Memo to My Son, Lonely at the Top, God's Song (That's Why I Love Mankind), Political Science, You Can Leave Your Hat On, Old Man, Dayton, Ohio - 1903, He Gives Us All His Love, Burn On, Simon Smith and the Amazing Dancing Bear

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Wed Aug 03 2022
5

Love Randy Newman's style, very enjoyable listen throughout

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Sun Dec 11 2022
5

A kind and soft affair. It’s very own private concert.

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Fri Jan 20 2023
5

Beautiful. Gentle and sweet, just perfect for cooking to. I loved this. Also had not previously known that 'Simon Smith..' and 'Leave your hat on' were his songs, not those of Georgie Fame and Tom Jones. My favourite was God's Song' - very moving.

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Thu Jan 26 2023
5

The simplicity of the song structures and the narrative lyrics/singing style comes together on this one so well. Opting for the piano, but not moving in the pop/soft rock direction, makes Randy stand out among his peers. His voice is unique, almost goofy at times, giving it a light-heartedness that is the polar opposite of what someone like Dylan does with his serious gravel, for example. Newman is also the master of the everyday. There's nothing epic or world historical in his lyrics, but they still transport the listener.

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Wed Feb 22 2023
5

Weer zo'n album vol Randy Newman-klassiekers, de ironie druipt er weer vanaf, maar het zijn leuke jazzy songs met mooie arrangementjes. Tussen het zwarte wereldbeeld vinden we zowaar ook oprechte vrolijkheid, niet voor niets nummers die we beter als covers kennen: Simon Smith and his dancing bear en You can leave your hat on. Een soort kruising tussen Bram Vermeulen en Drs. P maar dan uit Amerika.

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Sun Mar 12 2023
5

This is a brilliant album and I have always loved it

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Wed Mar 15 2023
5

I like Randy Newman’s music and knew “You Can Leave Your Hat On” but the rest of this looked unfamiliar - but as I listened I kept have moments of recognition. This was a lot of fun (and a little bit of shock when you realize what some of the lyrics were about) to listen to. Really brilliant! I like this each time I’ve listened to it more and more… glad to have it in my library!

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Wed Mar 15 2023
5

This was very enjoyable. I found myself repeatedly asking, “Now, what film was this in?”

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Wed Mar 29 2023
5

This is a very nostalgic album for me. It reminds me of my Stepfather and the tremendous impact he had on my musical horizons. He was always exposing me to music such as this, that was just outside of my capability to fully grasp initially, but which grew on me over time when I was eventually able to start putting the pieces together for myself. Not to say that I didn't enjoy this straight away as a teenager though. My high school friends and I felt somewhat out of phase with our present era - old souls perhaps - so Randy Newman's more timeless, less rock oriented sound appealed to us in that way. Randy is fucking vicious, he just wraps it up in these beautiful arrangements so it goes down more easily. It's far more scathing that way too. Really messes with you emotionally so you're not even sure how to feel. He's a bitter motherfucker - and I feel that - and I also admire him for exploring lyrical territory very few others are brave enough to tread. He really confronts some of the darkest and most difficult corners of human weakness, hypocrisy, stupidity, evil, frailty, desire, fear, hubris, inadequacy, and sometimes even just mundaneness. He's always playing characters to voice these concerns, but you know he's in there somewhere, full of self loathing for being part of it all himself. And that's why it works - he's not above it. No matter how horrible these characters sound, he always makes it relatable, almost appealing, in some way. We're all guilty of being these imperfect, deeply flawed idiots, but at least Randy Newman recognizes it, is honest about it, and writes these gorgeous songs for us so we can at least all laugh about it.

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Thu May 25 2023
5

Beautiful composition throughout the album, has a feel of orchestral music yet with pop/rock/blues influences. Amazing pianowork and I didn’t know you can leave your hat on was initially recorded by him.

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Mon Jul 03 2023
5

Political Science is one of the all time great satires. This is a great album.

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Tue Jul 04 2023
5

Goddamn brilliant - captures more about American life and history than I learned in all of my years in school

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Thu Jul 13 2023
5

Mellow, introspective, and fantastic.

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Wed Aug 16 2023
5

I'm actually astounded at how much I liked this. I've never listened to Randy Newman before, I mostly know him as this un-serious caricature of a performer. This really took me by surprise and I'm definitely going to listen to more of his stuff.

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Thu Aug 24 2023
5

Always love me some Randy Newman

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Wed Aug 30 2023
5

Sometimes being snuck up on is a kindness. This Newman is in every way less calculated, less cohesive. That makes it all the more American. Constant anxiety about sliding from atop, predictable results disguised in cynicism and two-minute pop song fluff.

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Tue Sep 12 2023
5

Randy Newman is perhaps the most talented composer who has the ability to weave in factoids of life that either gets misconstrued, misunderstood or flies over one's head. Sail Away is the first example of Newman using the LP format to his advantage and rendering songs previously given to others back to its original (and probably preferable) form. Profoundly influential in its own way, Sail Away is the kind of album that only Randy Newman could make and, thankfully, he had plenty more up his sleeve.

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Sun Oct 22 2023
5

If the goal of this entire project is to get me to find new music that I’d actually listen to again and again then this is it… 5 stars- super light and relaxing and fun

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Sun Jan 14 2024
5

One of the most interesting musicians of the past 60 years who will now forever be most known for the least interesting part of his artistic output. You just can’t sing along to a lot of his songs depending on who the particular narrator is.

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Wed Feb 07 2024
5

I didn't expect to like this album. I thought it would be twee and corny but it has depth. I mean, wade through a few 80s/90s electronica records and you'll give extra points to any album just for using actual instruments, but I wasn't expecting to shed a little tear on the bus to work

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Wed Feb 14 2024
5

Randy Newman just casually gets it.

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Fri Feb 23 2024
5

Jeez. I understand why Pixar hired him. Even writing solo, every song feels like a villain introduction. Incredible.

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Mon Mar 18 2024
5

Third album was the charm for Randy Newman, who really gets it right here. Great slice of life vignettes that sound as though they were written 50 years earlier, sung in Newman’s plaintive dry voice, accompanied by himself on piano or often brass band arrangements. This is Americana before there was such a thing.

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Wed Apr 10 2024
5

I discovered Randy Newman in 1977, when “Sort People” was a hit. I wondered at the time how so many people could miss the point that it was a song that tore down prejudice. I picked up the album, and loved it. Then I picked up his previous album “Good Old Boys”, and really enjoyed it, also. New man’s lyrics are cutting, and cynical, and tend towards demonstrating absurd by being absurd, often not in an especially nice way (“Short People” and “Rednecks” are good examples). Anyway, on to Sail Away: I know (and own) 3 of the songs here, the title track, “…Hat On” and “Political Science”. All are brilliant. Musically, this has an old-time sound, pretty relaxed. Primarily piano and strings, sometimes lapsing into an almost New Orleans / slow-ragtime feel. I don’t know music theory, but the piano is captivating neat little melodies. It is all very concise, 12 songs in 30 minutes. Newman has a tendency to present these cynical, sarcastic observations on human life, then kick you in the gut with a crushingly sad song. “Old Man” is such a song, a song about dying alone (or almost alone). It is all wonderful but it is also music you need to pay attention to, to think about. Bottom line: 5/5, I’ll need to fill out my collection.

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Thu Apr 18 2024
5

This was delightful. I was a child when Toy Story came out and only new Randy Newman from that soundtrack. I always wondered how he could work as a popular musician. Turns out it's by writting short but involved pieces with biting satire. I don't know if this is the peak of his powers but Political Science and Simon Smith had me rolling. There's little I love more than someone smiling while they tell you to go f--- yourself.

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Wed May 15 2024
5

I love Randy Newman but this was my first time listening to a full album. This was a great listen, highly recommend to anyone

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Wed May 22 2024
5

I know it’s more than Toy Story but it’s all I can see!

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Mon Sep 28 2020
4

Very varied so I enjoyed this a lot. Also remaster made it sound VERY nice n smooth

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Mon Apr 26 2021
4

This was really good. I liked the style he was going for, and the songs were pleasant to the ears.

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Thu May 27 2021
4

I enjoyed it. I had forgotten that he sang “Roll On” from the opening to the movie “Major League which I always enjoyed.

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Fri Jan 22 2021
4

Immediate hit of toy story vibe of course. Lonely at the top, Sounds like old black Louisiana blues/jazz performer, playing in his dungarees on a deck outside a shop on a box. Absolutely stunning. Album definitely has 'musicals' influence. Some tracks feel very broadway

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Sun May 02 2021
4

I feel like I have overlooked his talent and artistry for far too long. This work is different than his soundtrack stuff. It feels both personal and filled with dedication to craft.

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Sun May 02 2021
4

I enjoy Randy Newman's laid back style while mixing satire and cheeky commentary. Enjoyable album.

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Fri Jun 04 2021
4

Randy Newman es un compositor como pocos, tiene la habilidad de escribir letras y fraguar historias quizá aun más ligadas y cercanas que algunos otros más poéticos pero con quienes quizá es más difícil sentir esa relación inmediata como Dylan o Cohen. Tiene inventiva, métrica, cadencia en sus frases, historias completas en tres párrafos y la capacidad como pocos de incluso despertar emociones. Tiene también en mi punto dos detalles. Su música es buena, es interesante y le queda a sus canciones... y es la misma siempre, TODAS sus canciones suenan como en una plantilla 70% iguales, que creo toda persona de nuestra edad obviamente puede reconocer inmediatamente al pensar en Woody y Buzz; es un sonido agradable pero puede cansar. El segundo punto es que son canciones con música agradable, letras excelentes... cantadas por el borrachín que duerme afuera del Oxxo; su manera de entonar y esa forma tan particular y única es simpática como por una o dos canciones... ya a 2/3 del disco tambien no se aguanta mucho. De hecho el disco las dos veces tal cual le tuve que poner intermedio al escucharlo por la combinación de voz/música que me llegaba a cansar. Me encantó Sail Away y su concepto de como pretendiera alguien pintarle a un próximo esclavo lo bonito que es EE.UU. Me fascina que haya hecho una canción sobre un sueño; pero sobre un sueño de verdad como son, no todo poético y metafórico como todas las canciones de sueños, aquí el sueño es una medio pesadilla sin sentido que puede o no tener sentido o significado porque tal cual así son los sueños, raros. God's Song igual maestra, cada cuánto se tiene realmente una canción desde el punto de vista ateo, y que aparte ateo o no deja el mensaje (muy cierto a fin de cuentas) de que, si dios existiera, quien lo necesitan son los hombres, no al revés. De verdad siento que no hay letra mala en el disco, podría ponerme a platicar de casi todas las canciones y como algo bueno o novedoso o interesante se les encuentra. Decía Newman en una entrevista que "mi música no es para ponerse de fondo mientras comes papitas en una fiesta" y creo que tiene toda la razón porque, por un lado, sus letras de verdad que merecen ser escuchadas con atención y, por otro, la fiesta se te va a vaciar después de la cuarta canción con ese sonsonete. Maravilla de album pero no de corrido.

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Thu Feb 18 2021
4

Really quite good. Can't argue.

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Wed Mar 03 2021
4

It's not just music from Pixar movies! This was actually very good. Not what I was expecting at all.

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Wed Mar 24 2021
4

La première chose qui m'est passé par la tête, c'est que toutes les pièces pourraient figurer dans des films de Pixar.. J'ai ensuite remarqué que c'était le compositeur de You've got a friend in me et ça explique beaucoup de choses! Ça s'écoute bien, j'aime la voix et le piano mais rien d'extrêmement complexe.

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Sun Jul 18 2021
4

Some good songwriting but his voice and the pacing really bog the album down. 7

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Wed Mar 17 2021
4

Randy Newman can kind of be sad and happy at the same time. I really enjoyed this album.

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Wed Feb 24 2021
4

Newman is a brilliant and very funny songwriter. I've like his stuff for a long time, and Political Science still amuses me! Listened twice.

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Tue Jun 22 2021
4

Тёплый, ламповый альбом. Оригинал культовой Песни про шляпу в себе содержит. Который я, в прочем, поначалу воспринял за не самый выдающийся кавер. На самом деле особо предъявить не за что, на год своего выхода это было, вероятно, тупо топ. Но не сильно уверен, что уютная атмосфера альбома не развеется до обыденности спустя за несколько прослушиваний.

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Wed May 12 2021
4

If you like Elton John's Madman Across The Water, then this is like an American version of that album. Except replace the pop friendly lyrics of Elton with some deeper lyrics about Americans. (Although I will say that Elton has got a better voice than Randy).

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Sat Apr 10 2021
4

I will definitely be coming back to this one. 4 out of 5

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Tue Jul 20 2021
4

Great stories and effortless style - not a genre I would listen to normally, but I will put this one on again.

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Mon May 24 2021
4

Just beautiful all way through. Great music.

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Mon May 17 2021
4

Really good. Sounds like Toy Story everytime.

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Sun May 30 2021
4

Great songs. I'm not usually one for orchestrated arrangements in pop music but I can overlook it because of how great the songs are. 4 stars

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Thu Jul 15 2021
4

Fantastic Album, great lyrics, rock/blues instrumentation, very entertaining. Never heard of him before, but a few songs of this album are very familiar through interpretations by other artists.

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Fri Jul 23 2021
4

Really good album, has a nostalgic/homely feel to it, probably due to the fact that the same dude sings 'you've got a friend in me' from Toy Story. 4/5.

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Mon Aug 09 2021
4

pretty good. If you like that one song from toy story, then you will probably like this album. Also, this has the happiest song about nuclear war. 3.7/5

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Wed Aug 11 2021
4

I liked this a lot. Randy Newman is a great songwriter. I especially liked God's Song - very interesting lyrics. 4 stars.

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Tue Aug 17 2021
4

Tykkäsin tästä, ainakin taustamusana. Ei ollut tuttu ukko aikaisemmin, ainakaan tietoisesti, mutta ilmeisesti kova filmisäveltäjä. Verrattuna edellisenä arvioituun Nick Draken Five Leaves Leftiin, tämä oli vähän rokimpaa kamaa.

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