Top positive review
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Good collection of songs, Joel's last studio album
on 18 May 2007
Contrary to another review, this is manifestly not Billy Joel's best CD yet. Far from it, and if you are looking to start in on the Billy Joel catalogue, go to The Stranger and An Innocent Man first.
That said, it's still got some excellent stuff on it.
The core of the album is the triptych of songs that kick off the second half: All About Soul, Goodnight My Angel and River of Dreams. This is rock but with the cares and perspectives of middle-age.
All About Soul is that rare thing, a love song not about falling in love but about marriage. It's lyrically moving, while musically it really rocks. The only tragedy for Joel is that Christie Brinkley was just about to dump him for a better looking model.
(But he didn't know that at the time.)
Then there's Goodnight My Angel, a quiet piano lullaby from a father's perspective about how to answer his young child when she asks about what happens when people seem to die. The next song, River of Dreams, completes his answer, with Gospel backing while the lyrics explore what it means to be sort of agnostically spiritual. How music helps you to live on.
Otherwise, nothing really stands out and the first half in particular lacks the melodies that cover so much else in his back catalogue. Still, it's never less than respectable and 2000 years is a good finisher, albeit lacks contemporary reference as it's dated itself to the Millenium.
For fans, there's definitely enough to enjoy. For fringers, go elsewhere first, or just download the core three songs from i-tunes.