Randy Newman, Trouble in Paradise

Nick Marino

By Nick Marino

on 08.16.11 in Reviews

Trouble In Paradise

Randy Newman
A perfect mix of genuine affection and faux ignorance

While no one would confuse Trouble in Paradise with a serious concept record like Dark Side of the Moon (or, for that matter, Newman’s own Good Old Boys) the album still comes off as a postcard from the go-go 1980s. Never before or since did Newman write so much about quintessential rock ‘n’ roll subjects like sunshine and girls. “There’s A Party At My House” feels like such big, dumb fun that it’s almost out of character – and then Newman cracks a joke about bondage. The cheerful and half-joking “I Love L.A.,” which kicks off the record, would become a kind of theme song for the singer, and rightfully so – it’s a perfect mix of genuine affection and faux ignorance, and it comes paired with a similar (if lesser) song called “Miami” for everybody back East. Anyone bothered by the cheesy, deeply ’80s production style can turn for relief to “Real Emotional Girl,” a ballad performed with just voice and piano.