Randy Newman, Faust

Nick Marino

By Nick Marino

on 08.16.11 in Reviews


Randy Newman
Tough to play all the way through, with some songs worth plucking

At this point, the musical production Faust (like Cop Rock, the ill-fated, Newman-scored TV musical about singing law-enforcement officers) remains pretty unheralded. Any career this long is going to have its footnotes and pitfalls, and maybe this is Newman’s. And yet, even here amid an album that’s tough to play all the way through, there are songs worth plucking. For instance “Glory Train” is a lovely bit of call-and-response gospel voiced largely by James Taylor. (Other guests on the project include Ry Cooder, Bonnie Raitt and Elton John.) And almost as good is the spry “I Gotta Be Your Man,” which bops along with a nervous high-hat rhythm and a careening piano line that dips and swerves like a roller coaster.