NEIL SEDAKA > The Music Of My Life

rs_Neil Sedaka The Music of My Life

NEIL SEDAKA

The Music of My Life

(RAZOR AND TIE)

[Rating: 3.5 stars]

He’s always been a seriously savvy songwriter (analyze the chords to songs like “Laughter In The Rain” or “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do” and see what I mean). Like his friend Carole King, he was a New York kid who played Rachmaninoff before rock and roll. But when, at 13, he and lyricist Howie Greenfield started writing songs, he brought a lot of know-how to the process, expanding the harmonic vocabulary of early rock and roll. That brilliance still resounds on this, his first record in a decade. Replete with golden melodies, like that of the title song, it opens with “Do You Remember?,” an infectious salsa outing that sounds like a Mark Anthony hit, and is produced, with much horn-powered verve, by David Foster. Neil wrote it and all the songs himself, words and music, except for an unrecorded gem, “Right Or Wrong,” written with Howie in the early ‘50s, a slice of pure doo-wop fun. “Waiting” is an achingly soaring Orbison-like ballad, while “Share This Dream” is blues. “You” closes the record, a song Sinatra could have done wonders with, as soaring and beautiful as the most timeless standards. If you’re already a Sedaka fan, this record will thrill you. And if you’re not, give it a chance – this is inspirational, songs from a songwriter still in touch with the source, even 57 years since he began.

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