Barry Manilow — 15 Minutes

1.    The recording style and instrumentation of the folk-rock “15 Minutes” sounds straight out of the ‘80s, which, I suppose, so is Manilow. Kinda.

2.    Vintage disco with Manilow semi-rapping. He hasn’t had to “Work the Room” in 30 years, so this just feels wrong. “Startin’ in sweet with a rockin’ beat / Show ‘em I can really ride” is an utterly indefensible line.

3.    “Bring on Tomorrow” is such a cornball ballad that I couldn’t get through it. Twice. Pulled up “Copacabana” online to remind myself why I’m listening to “15 Minutes.”

4.    My computer froze when “Now It’s for Real” came on. More ‘80s-style folk with anthemic chorus.

5.    Psychedelia from the ‘60s morphing into Motown? What? Also, not addressing the creepiness factor to the lyrics of “Wine Song.”

6.    “He’s a Star” is the first song that actually sounds like Manilow. Lounge-ready pop with some energy, telling a story with the lyrics. The touch of distorted guitar to make him feel modern is totally forgivable.

7.    What’s the hang-up with wine on this disc?

8.    From YouTube to Manilow, Nataly Dawn of Pomplamoose has completed some sort of success story by guesting on “Letter from a Fan / So Heavy, So High.” Manilow goes all Meat Loaf on this one.

9.    “Everybody’s Leavin’” is 38 seconds long.

10. Billy Joel is checking through his catalog to make sure he didn’t write “Who Needs You?” And that’s for multiple reasons. Can’t make it through.

11. More neo-psych: “They loved you like pagans / And followed your climb / The strongest, most beautiful one.” The chorus, however, is passable. The news clips outro proves that Manilow is as uninterested in subtlety as ever.

12. While the lyrics to “Slept Through the End of the World” are maudlin, the acoustic songwriting is pretty good (Neil Diamond, anyone?). Incidentally, I went through a phase where I had nightmares that I actually did that.

13. Just 44 seconds long. Are you getting tired of this shtick yet? You’re not the only one.

14. “Wake up / Train wreck / No navigator / Sooner or later / All up to you.”

15. Reprise of title track. Feels more like a haunting than a déjà vu.

16. Straight-up, enthusiastic disco that sounds more natural than anything else on the disc. Nevertheless, “Everything’s Gonna Be All Right” is a straight-up lie. —Stephen Carradini

Stephen Carradini

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