Randy Newman, Born Again

Nick Marino

By Nick Marino

on 08.16.11 in Reviews

Born Again

Randy Newman
Especially out of place at this moment in music history

With punk, disco and prog-rock swirling in the air, it’s little wonder that Newman’s 1979 album sits awkwardly in his pantheon. Always a square peg in a round hole, Newman was especially out of place at this moment in music history. Still, it’s difficult to imagine him getting angry enough at Electric Light Orchestra to write a song (“Story of a Rock & Roll Band”) that gleefully mocks the “Mr. Blue Sky” rockers in both style and lyric. And for that matter, what’s up with the KISS makeup on the cover? While those references feel dated now, “It’s Money That I Love” stayed relevant through Gordon Gekko and Occupy Wall Street. And in keeping with Newman’s knack for romantic misadventure, the album gives us “You Just Got Married” (a kind of sequel to “Love Story,” from Newman’s first album) and “The Girls In My Life, Pt. 1″ (which bemoans a woman who borrowed the narrator’s car, and then plowed over a man in Mexico).