Harps And Angels - Randy Newman
Metascore
86

Universal acclaim - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. 100
    Sharp, incisive, funny and at times even heart-rending in the context of some beautifully-judged rag/country/Dixie-land songs.
  2. It remains extraordinary this ability to jump from Tom Lehrer to early Tom Waits.
  3. Never have his arrangements exploited his soundtrack chops so subtly, changeably or precisely.
  4. Harps and Angels belongs up there with "12 Songs" and "Sail Away" as one of Newman’s greatest works, regardless if he took 20 years to get it out into the public.
  5. This is Newman’s most touching, musically rich and consistent record since "Good Old Boys" way back in 1974; and it’s hilarious to boot.
  6. The characters are memorable, the satire sharp, the music luxurious, and the arrangements maybe the most gorgeous in all pop music.
  7. Yet as welcome as it is to have Newman’s acerbic wit back, it remains a singular pleasure to listen to a simple, devastating ballad like 'Losing You,' which is wrapped up in sympathetic strings and absolutely devoid of irony.
  8. The stunning title track proves that Newman, at age 64, has more healthy bile in him than 64 twentysomethings....Harps has a couple of duds, though. [8 Aug 2008, p.68]
  9. Some of the more on-the-nose satire falls flat....Still, heart-on-the-sleeve tracks like 'Losing You' and 'Feels Like Home' feature Newman at his most affecting.
  10. Newman’s work here demands high praise, especially with his resume.
User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 13 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 3
  2. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. ChrisC.
    Sep 12, 2008
    5
    Too much whining that some people have more money than others. Newman's old stuff was sardonically opinionated while seeming vaguely Too much whining that some people have more money than others. Newman's old stuff was sardonically opinionated while seeming vaguely informed. This just sounds like a lot of angry whining trying to be funny, but only in the 'Everyone else is stupid' way. Full Review »
  2. JoeB.
    Sep 10, 2008
    8
    Randy Newman continues to be one of the most important artists out there, right alongside Tom Waits, Neil Young, Radiohead, Bruce Springsteen Randy Newman continues to be one of the most important artists out there, right alongside Tom Waits, Neil Young, Radiohead, Bruce Springsteen etc. His words sear the listener and force them to take inventory of what's going on around them. His sardonic wit is matched equally by his song craft. His arrangements are edited so precisely, his notes and words chosen so meticulously, it is moments like this in music that truly remind me of how small all of us other practitioners really are. Mr. Newman constantly poses challenges for himself and is apparently not afraid to ruffle a few feathers in the process. Kudos! Music should be dangerous, it should provoke thought and controversy, it should force people to take responsibility for their actions. Unfortunately, the reality is that most of these sentiments will be lost as I'm sure, nobody really cares about this kind of stuff anymore except maybe a small few of us. Thanks Randy, you always remind me that I'm not alone. Full Review »
  3. MichaelE.
    Aug 8, 2008
    9
    More than in his past, the new album reveals autobiographical moments. Not, because Randy Newman has a message to be delivered (apart from More than in his past, the new album reveals autobiographical moments. Not, because Randy Newman has a message to be delivered (apart from his biting comments on current politics), but because of the disturbing moments and the angst that make the "ego" a vulnerable thing when growing older and older. On the other hand, the sound palette he makes use of (from orchestral to intimate chamber atmosphere) is brilliant and always serving the songs! Full Review »