Graham Parker

Temporary Beauty

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Temporary Beauty is a budget-line British collection that culls highlights from Another Grey Area and The Real Macaw, two albums that were solid but unremarkable additions to Parker's catalog. At that point, Parker had parted ways with the Rumour and was relying on studio musicians, which had the effect of snuffing out his spark. Brinsley Schwarz returned for The Real Macaw, adding some energy, but for the most part, the performances are enjoyably workmanlike. Parker's songs are similarly well-crafted, with only a couple of songs -- notably "Temporary Beauty" -- ranking as real classics. So, Temporary Beauty is a pleasant listen, but it's an unnecessary collection -- casual fans will want a full-fledged hits set or the early albums, and diehards will already have the two source albums for Temporary Beauty, making the disc rather useless.

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