Barry Manilow

Barry Manilow

Barry Manilow

The Greatest Love Songs of All Time

Arista / Sony Music

Mind-numbing and pointless are the first words that come to mind when describing the latest offering from one-time pop icon Barry Manilow. Clearly, the “Divine Mr. M.” and other legendary artists such as Rod Stewart and Linda Ronstadt have all successfully salvaged their sagging careers by remaking the classics — but c’mon, enough is enough! Barry Manilow is the guy who “wrote the songs that made the whole world sing” (I know he didn’t write that one). Yet now, nearly half of his entire catalog consists of these types of tired records. At least when Willie Nelson began the trend of covering standards in 1978 with his Stardust record, he put his own signature spin on the songs, making them fresh and uniquely his own. However, here, Manilow seems to be simply going through the motions.

Longtime producer and industry mogul Clive Davis commented in a recent interview that he and Manilow were “on a mission” with this record “to bring to a new generation the great songs that are the soundtrack of our lives.” Uh, whose lives? And at age 66, what “new generation” does Manilow expect to appeal to? It’s hard to imagine a nineteen-year-old in 2010 walking into his local Best Buy store and plunking down hard earned cash for the new Chris Brown AND Barry Manilow records. And do we really need another version of the theme from Love Story? Really?

If Manilow, one of pop music’s all-time greatest songwriters, has in fact run out of material, perhaps he could at least spice up his game a bit. How about Manilow Does Manson or maybe Barry Belts Bon Jovi? One can only imagine the endless magical possibilities.

In short, Barry Manilow’s The Greatest Love Songs of All Time is cheaper than Ambien or Xanax — but just as effective.

Barry Manilow: www.manilow.com

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