i like how the hold steady sound like randy newman
Randall Newman - Toy Story
This mostly instrumental album by arranger Randall Newman is his twentieth effort, and bears the unmistakable touch that is a Randall Newman album throughout. Starting off with jaunt number "You've Got a Friend in Me", Newman tells the listener about the qualities of other people, but also that we can have a great friendship. "Strange Things" is the best track on the album - ain't no doubt about it. Telling the story of one's downfall from a position of respect and power, it remains fairly upbeat, especially in the brass and drums sections. Great wee keyboarding too! "I Will Go Sailing No More" is a song depicting the character again looking back on his former achievements. A short burst of optimism is then followed by despondent resignation. A sad song, I'm sure you'll agree. I can almost imagine a toy cowboy jumping off a staircase to this...
"Andy's Birthday" marks the end of Newman's singing for a while, in this ever-changing piece about the titular event. I must mention the bass riff and the accordin. THE BASS RIFF. AND THE ACCORDION. There. And all your orchestral sounds that usually appear on Disney films. Four tracks pass in the following five and a half minutes that aren't too brilliant, y'know. The start of "Buzz" can't fail to give you goosebumps, though. "Sid" is also fairly average. "Woody and Buzz" doesn't really get going until halfway in, but once it does, it's one great mood after another, just like the following piece "Mutants", and "Woody's Gone".. and "The Big One".. and so on... they're all pieces of mood-kneejerked orchestra ok? The penultimate track "Infinity and Beyond" is the best of the instrumental bunch. Military-esque, Christmas-esque, and greatness-esque all at the same time!
The final track is a reprise of "You've Got a Friend.." and country dude Lyle Lovett lends his vocals to this version. While Newman's singing on the first track is great, it can't hold a candle to Lovett's dulcet country dude tones. He should have left his bumbling non-country dude singing off this one and allowed Lyle full reign over larynx duties.
The cover art unusually neglects to add Newman's face and instead he opts for a colourful image of a cowboy staring in awe at what appears to be a toy astronaut. It's a welcome change.
Because I listened to this on Spotify (Walt Disney Records decline to send me a copy), a couple of adverts were interspersed throughout. "Say Yes to Safe Sex" is fronted by some Irish doll who doesny look too bad ;) "Upgrade to Spotify Premium!" features Jonathan Idiotface, who annoys me.
Randall Newman - Toy Story: Fairly good. 7/10