Richard Marx

Beautiful Goodbye

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Returning after six years without original material -- a hiatus that was interrupted by two 2012 releases -- one a live album, one a Christmas record, along with a 2010 reworking of old songs -- Richard Marx is in a decidedly seductive frame of mind on Beautiful Goodbye. A romantic record through and through, Beautiful Goodbye is smoother than most of Marx's catalog, rolling along at a subdued pace and seemingly encased in silk. Savvy old pro that he is, Marx knows enough to vary the pace and the accents -- at times this flirts with Latin rhythms, at times he incorporates just enough EDM to illustrate he knows it's 2014, but not enough to alienate any longtime fans -- which is enough to keep Beautiful Goodbye far away from the monotonous. He's aiming for atmosphere, not hooks here and, consequently, the record might seem a little elliptical for those expecting a revival of "Right Here Waiting," but that mastery of mood is also the appeal of Beautiful Goodbye: this was designed for late-night romance, and forceful hooks would distract from the seduction.

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