From the opening chords of the first track the memories come flooding back after more than 20 years. This double-album CD is unlikely to appeal to anyone under 30 but if you were there in the 70s you might well love it. Dean Friedman bears inevitable comparison with Paul Simon - he's not an easy guy to categorise but he IS an American singer/songwriter, so that'll do. No, file him with Paul Simon if you will, there are songs here that fit the comparison - Shopping Bag Ladies for one. Why not go for the passion and virtuoso modern loungeroom jazz vibes of Humor Me or Funny Papers and slot him in near Joe Jackson. Or there again, go for the humor of S & M or the quirkiness of Aerial and keep this CD alongside then likes of Jonathan Richman or Jona Lewie. There are songs here that are funny, songs that are melancholic - Song for my mother, songs that are sweetly naif - Deli Song (corned beef on wry), songs that are optimistic - Lucky Stars. If Leonard Cohen had been born in New York of an age to sport an affro and a major league moustache, he might well have made music like this. The lyricism is all there, the sentiment is all there, the musicianship and logic defying rhyming are all there. This is an album to file under F for Friedman in a category all its own and, once filed, take it out and play it again and again. Wonderful stuff!
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