Randy Newman is, according to Don Henley of the Eagles, “one of the only living songwriters who can get ridicule and empathy into the same song. Sometimes, he works in the realm of irony; other times, he’s a heart-on-his-sleeve romantic.” On his new album Dark Matter, Newman proves his friend right.
Of course we should be used to Newman’s split personality. He gained fame in the seventies and eighties with his often-misunderstood, satirical comedic hits, Short People, Lonely at the Top, and I Love L.A. to name a few. But he really broke out with the sincere and often heartbreaking songs he wrote and recorded for Pixar movies. You’ve Got a Friend in Me and When She Loved Me from Toy Story One and Two are all time classics.
There’s plenty of clever burlesque on Dark Matter. Satirical song topics range from the old debate of science versus religion, the Kennedy brothers, and a bare-chested Vladimir Putin. Then, we’re hit with the genuine sweetness of She Chose Me, my favorite song on the record, and one originally written for the misbegotten, nineties, musical TV series Cop Rock. If you can believe that.
Whichever Randy Newman you’re looking for, you’ll find him on Dark Matter.
Dark Matter and a quarter million more albums are available to stream or download at hoopladigital.com. Login with your Eisenhower Library card and get started listening right away. Prefer a CD? Place a hold in the library catalog.