On April 21 Barry Manilow releases his new studio album, This Is My Town: Songs Of New York. Last week I interviewed Barry, and I was part of the live studio audience at his QVC performance. Since then, I’ve been listening to his new album and it’s terrific! It’s a blend of different styles – everything from musicals to jazz – and it features original material, as well as Barry’s brilliant interpretations of iconic songs about the Big Apple.
Below is my track-by-track review of This Is My Town: Songs Of New York.
“This Is My Town”
- This is the best song on the album. It’s a beautifully crafted, leg-kicking, hand-clapping number that features a finish that would be perfect in a Broadway hit musical. It’s easily one of the greatest musical accomplishments in this legendary artist’s career. I love it!
“New York City Rhythm/On Broadway”
- Barry took one of his original songs, “New York City Rhythm,” and seamlessly blended it together with “On Broadway” and the result is infectious. It’s an enjoyable listen that you definitely won’t be skipping.
- Similar to “Daybreak” and “Turn The Radio Up,” this is one of the happiest pieces of music Barry has ever created. The chorus is simple, but I bet you’ll be singing it by the time the songs starts to fade!
- I didn’t realize this song was from a musical – 1944’s On The Town – until Barry mentioned it during his QVC interview. It’s a fabulous ballad that builds as it reaches its melancholy finish. It’s a majestic number that features one of the best vocals on the album. A real standout track.
“Lovin’ At Birdland”
- This smokey jazz number conjures up visions of Barry’s wonderful 2:00 AM Paradise Cafe. It’s a mellow number that has a sexy vibe to it, and I don’t think fans will be disappointed with this one.
- This is a fun combination of two songs: one that almost everyone knows (“Downtown”) and one that is lesser-known (“Uptown”). Like “New York City Rhythm/On Broadway,” this is a prime example of Barry’s deft musicianship.
“On The Roof”
- This track features Barry’s vocals layered on top of each other countless times and the effect is something that must be heard. It’s a great pop track.
“I Dig New York”
- A pleasant mid-tempo number with cute lyrics, this song is definitely one of the album’s highlights. The smoother-than-Sinatra vocals and wonderful horn section make for a joyous listening experience.
“The Brooklyn Bridge”
- Just like Barry’s previous studio album, My Dream Duets, this track is a virtual duet. This time around he’s singing with Mel Tormé and the result is terrific.
- I absolutely love this medley! From “New York State Of Mind” to “New York, New York,” it’s a thrilling listen that caps off a wonderful album. I especially like Barry’s interpretation of “Empire State Of Mind” and “Native New Yorker,” a song I was previously unfamiliar with.