Buzzy Linhart's irreverent love lyrics in "I Believe It Tonight" give a hint to the multifaceted composer's power. He hits you with "Hole in My Life," a wonderfully tortured ballad featuring the keyboards of his friend/producer and founding member of Utopia, Moogy Klingman. The listener gets trapped song by song, and when "Celebrate the Nite" kicks in, you get one of those melodies that sticks in your head for the week. Martin Kupersmith, friend of the late Jimmy Miller and member of Jay & the Americans co-wrote what should've been the sequel to Three Dog Night's "Celebrate." Joe Berger and Jeff Sigman's guitars come from out of nowhere, replaced by Klingman's atmospheric keys and some marching drums. The production is top notch, with Linhart's vocals soaring over the mix. A really extraordinary piece of music. "Village Voices" is the first Moogy Klingman song that Linhart tackles on this disc. It's a combination of gospel and Broadway show tunes, certainly strange bedfellows, with Kati Mac's harmony fitting nicely alongside Linhart's deadpan vocal. "Last Train Out," another hook-filled song performed by a trio (Joe Berger on all guitars; Klingman on drums, bass, sax and organ; Linhart, all voices), was recorded at Klingman's house in 1994. A little flavor of Billy Joel's "Matter of Trust" can be heard, but Linhart sings with much more heart. "Fountain of Youth" is the most experimental piece here, featuring the two on all instruments, with Linhart doing some Yma Sumac-type vocals inside Klingman's Enya-style keyboards. The four tracks recorded in Klingman's house, selections five through eight, have depth and pure inspiration. For the guy who "filled Carnegie Hall" according to Moogy's August 2000 liner notes, this is a welcome return to songwriting and the studio. "Victim of Circumstance" is more of Linhart's dry humor, but "Dreams of Sand" does here what "Celebrate the Nite" did earlier, creating a dark and majestic mood, a love tragedy right out of the film Casablanca which ends too soon. Tracks nine through 14 are radio concert cuts recorded on August 6, 1989 at WBAI studios in New York, hosted by Ed Haber. Despite the live tracks having only Linhart on acoustic guitar and Klingman on grand piano, they hold up well next to the studio ones, from the cover of Fred Neil's 1962 composition "That's the Bag I'm In" to a beautiful rendition of "You Gotta Have Friends," the song the two wrote for Bette Midler's first album, The Divine Miss M. It clocks in at almost 74 minutes, and is comprised of four songs from 1983/1984, six songs from a broadcast, and four new compositions. A gem.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Joe Viglione