Harps and An­gels

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Musicreviews - JOE BREEN

Down­load tracks: A Few Words in Defence of Our Coun­try, Harps and An­gels, Feels Like Home

None­such If you know not of this grey-haired ge­nius of Amer­i­can pop­u­lar song, then his new album, New­man’s first stu­dio out­ing in nine years, may not be the place to start. Then again, any man with the inside dope on the af­ter­life, who un­der­stands the true his­tor­i­cal per­spec­tive of the US em­pire, the win­ning role of Korean par­ents, and is not averse to let­ting his heart bleed in pub­lic, sounds like some­one we badly need. And New­man is funny, too. And sar­cas­tic. And sav­age. And he re­mains one of the true orig­i­nals. Th­ese 10 songs don’t break any new ground, dressed as they are in their the­atri­cal pi­ano-based fin­ery and melodic majesty, but they re­flect his beady-eyed view of a world – specif­i­cally the US – gone bad. En­joy the laughs as his cor­ro­sive scep­ti­cism seeps in and re­joice in his clos­ing ode to love, the achingly vul­ner­a­ble Feels Like Home. www.ran­dynew­man.com

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