In many ways — his geographical location, his mastery of dated-seeming pop forms (the piano roll, the Tin Pan Alley flash, the rag, the walking blues), his rough, unlovable voice and his affinity for singing about tramps, scumbags, drifters and losers, he deeply resembles two other men who deserve inclusion in the ranks of Great American Songwriters — Tom Waits and the late Warren Zevon. More cynical and less dissipated than the former, more sincere and less aggressive than the latter, he still shares with them a jaundiced view of his fellow man tempered with an almost universal understanding, an ability to place himself in almost anyone’s shoes and make it sound like the most natural thing in the world.
Monday, 12 March 2007
Via The House Next Door I found an article on Randy Newman entitled the Sincerest Cynic and subtitled "Randy Newman, great American songwriter?". That there question mark very nearly put me off, but the article is a, yes, sincere attempt to remove it by pointing out that Randy is misunderstood by just about everybody. Leonard Pierce, the writer of the article, also puts Newman in some fine company: