I Love R.N., But...

We saw Randy Newman in concert with the Atlanta Symphony several weeks ago. The music is still whirling through my head.

Good show, two hours, yet strange. No "I Love L.A." No "Monk." No "Ragtime" soundtrack. We got suites from "Toy Story" and Mel Gibson's "Maverick."

He sang lots of two-minute songs that all sound alike after halfway into the first one.

He jokingly acknowledged the problem.

These brief tunes make you wonder, "Um, Randy, do you ever complete a premise?" Much of his vocal material seems underwritten, like he simply lost interest and moved on. Short Attention Span Theatre.

At other times, I'm thinking, "Um, Randy, this lyric repetition thing is working well for you, huh? Working well for you. Working well for you. Working well for you. Working well for you. Working well for you. Huh?"

I like the guy; don't get me wrong. I did think his program choices put him in a disappointing position. I mean, he had a full, world-class orchestra sitting idle at his feet, song after song. What was he doing playing so many solo pieces at the piano?

That orchestral chunk from "The Natural" made the world right, though. It is still thrilling and inspiring.

Hell, I'm going outside and whittle me a ball bat....

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