by Graham Wright in New Music on Saturday 20 August 2011

A lot of people I know unjustly think of Randy Newman as the perennial Oscar-contending writer of schlocky soundtrack songs. I thought that myself. But buying the first volume of this series started me on the path to redemption.

Volume II confirms that Newman is more than just a gifted composer (though he is that, some of the melodies here will break your heart). He’s also probably the most darkly funny lyricist there is. Who else could write a song about bringing back a slave from Mexico and then replacing Bruce Springstein as The Boss and call it My Life Is Good?