Ken Tucker
August 01, 2008 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Harps and Angels

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
performer
Randy Newman
genre
Pop

We gave it a B+

The stunning title track — an orchestrated mini-epic about a lout’s near-death experience — proves that Randy Newman, at age 64, has more healthy bile in him than 64 angry twentysomethings. Sitting at his piano and on his movie-soundtrack royalties, Newman jabs at our lousy economy and himself in the timely ”A Piece of the Pie,” drawling, ”The rich are getting richer, I should know.” In ”Potholes,” a sad-sack husband and father bemoans his henpecked existence. Harps and Angels has a couple of duds, though. His obligatory un-PC, ”Short People”-ish novelty tune is the flat ”Korean Parents.” And the intentional treacle of ”Feels Like Home” would fit right in on American Idol. B+
DOWNLOAD THIS: Listen to ”Harps and Angels” and the rest of Newman’s album at AOLMusic

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