The prolific Mr Newman with a career spanning over 40 years is one of the great composers of the 20th Century. Born into a musical family - his uncles Alfred and Lionel were both noted film composers - Randy Newman had become a professional songwriter by the time he was 17, working for a California publishing house. An anomaly among early-'70s singer/songwriters, Randy Newman may have been slightly influenced by Bob Dylan, but his music owed more to New Orleans R&B and traditional pop than folk. Newman developed an idiosyncratic style that alternated between sweeping, cinematic pop and rolling R&B, which were tied together by his nasty sense of humour. Where his peers concentrated on confessional songwriting, Newman drew characters, creating a world filled with misfits, outcasts, charlatans, and con men.
Though he occasionally showed sympathy for his characters, he became well known for his biting sense of satire, highlighted by his fluke 1978 hit "Short People" and his parody of '80s yuppies, "I Love L.A." While Newman's records consistently received strongly positive reviews, he made his money through composing film scores for films like Ragtime and The Natural. His albums may never have sold in large amounts, but his work influenced several generations of songwriters, including Lyle Lovett and Mark Knopfler.
Now after a hiatus of over 9 years, since releasing the 2008 “Harps and Angels’ album we are delighted that he is releasing his new 2017 album ‘Dark Matter’ which is full of new material. Newman recorded Dark Matter in Los Angeles with producers and longtime collaborators Mitchell Froom, Lenny Waronker and David Boucher.
The nine-track ‘Dark Matter’ includes his 2016 song “Putin” a brassy and sardonic number about the Russian leader that Newman was inspired to write after seeing a picture of Putin without a shirt. ‘Dark Matter’ will also include songs about the Kennedy brothers, legendary blues musician Sonny Boy Williamson, science and religion, love, loss and more.
"If there is anything consistent about the songs, there is often more than one voice, in the big ones, and it's different for me, a difficult thing to bring off, to make it comprehensible," Newman said of his new collection of songs and their narrators. "I think it works. They cover more ground than most songs do and portray a number of different characters. Audiences are smart. They'll understand the songs. I hope they like them as well."