Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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David Forman

  • David Forman [Arista, 1976] B

Consumer Guide Reviews:

David Forman [Arista, 1976]
Comparisons are odiferous, and this one--David Forman/Randy Newman--is commonplace as well. Sorry. At least I don't mean the words; except for the unconvincing "Rosalie" and one or two others, these employ evocative metaphor, in the manner of Jackson Browne, rather than evocative social detail. It's the r&b-based singing and precise, manneristic arrangements, both (unintentionally?) redolent of Newman, that bother me. Even Jackson Browne knows that groupings of associative metaphors hold together best along a groove, and since Forman, unlike Newman, has the pipes to bring off the sweeter soul modulations, you'd figure he'd go that way. Instead, he sets each song--like a jewel, or a loose tooth in a denture. Many-faceted though they may be, these songs are neither gemlike nor biting, and the settings, unlike Newman's, too often sound readymade. B