Peter Himmelman

The Musings of Someone

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The Musings of Someone is quite possibly the most entertaining promotional interview-and-songs CD ever recorded. The disc, which was sent to radio stations by Epic in support of Peter Himmelman's 1991 album From Strength to Strength, captures the talented singer/songwriter in peak form. In the interview segments, he bounces frenetically from hilarious, deadpan zaniness to thoughtful pontification. One minute he is holding forth on the nature of true peace or the superficiality of contemporary culture and the next he is making up 30-second songs about little children on waterslides. Impromptu pieces have long been a regular segment of Himmelman's live act but have rarely been made available in his recordings. One priceless improvisation, a wistful ballad from the perspective of a dachshund named "Dixie the Tiny Dog," is reason enough to own The Musings of Someone. But there are other reasons as well: The disc contains several previously unavailable live tracks, including a jazzy take on "Love of Midnight" which surpasses the album version and "Something That Never Came," a folk tune of quiet beauty that somehow never made it onto any of the major releases. Unfortunately, though, not all of the music on Musings is so successful. The disc also contains two unpleasantly outdated pop songs from Himmelman's days as frontman for Sussman Lawrence; these tracks leave listeners feeling like they've been forced to look at ugly high school yearbook photos. Nonetheless, there are enough gems here that hardcore and casual fans alike should jump at any chance they might have to obtain what is certain to be a hard-to-find novelty.