GRAHAM PARKER - The Real Macaw

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Now going for $30+ as Parker becomes collectable and re-evaluated.

"Squeezing Out Sparks" was undoubtably Graham Parker's finest album, but this one ain't far behind and is a near-masterpiece. After disappointing efforts "The Up Escalator" and "Another Grey Area", this album firmly reestablished Parker as a first rate writer. Unfortunately the momentum of "Sparks" had been lost and this album didn't make a big commercial impact. Which is a shame, because this is great stuff, and has several of my all time favorite Parker compositions. "You Can't Take Love For Granted" is the first high point, with a great minor key moanful chorus, and "My Glass Jaw" continues the theme of the pitfalls of love (a recurring Parker theme). "Passive Resistance" is also great. The real greatness is found on Side 2 (or the last half of the thing I hate about CD's is no "Side 2"). The theme of this side is...happiness and contentment! (From Mr. Angry Young Man). "Life Gets Better" is soaring and great, one the best songs ever by anyone. "Miracle A Minute" hops along happily and is a great rockin love song. "Beyond A Joke" and "Last Couple On The Dance Floor" are great touching ballads with real nice melodic hooks. But the absolute best moment is "Anniversary" which is simply the most personal and touching song that Parker has ever recorded, a simple statement of love. Great writing, great singing.
The sound is sparer and more relaxed that on most of Parker's albums, which serves this batch of songs very well. The great Brinsley Schwarz is still around on guitar, along with Squeeze drummer Gilson Lavis. Parker himself is playing much more guitar than on past albums, a trend that will continue in his subsequent work.
This is truly a great album. The quality of the songwriting, singing, and arrangements is exceptional. If you are even a passing Parker fan or just appreciate great intelligent pop music, you gotta get this! The real deal.