• Record Label: Nonesuch
  • Release Date: Aug 5, 2008
User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 13 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 13
  2. Negative: 1 out of 13

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  1. 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 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 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! Expand
  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 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 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. Expand
Metascore
86

Universal acclaim - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. It's his signature sound and Harps and Angels captures it sublimely, as the production--a co-credit to Newman's longtime associate Lenny Waronker and his latter-day producer Mitchell Froom--has no fancy accoutrements and he's written another set of quietly wonderful songs.
  2. 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]
  3. 100
    Sharp, incisive, funny and at times even heart-rending in the context of some beautifully-judged rag/country/Dixie-land songs.