The recommendation from Patrick Dodd: â€œFew singer-songwriters possess the grace and versatility of Harry Nilsson. He could flawlessly pull off writing doo-wop, rock, jazz, or a New Orleans style shuffle and often wove different genres together within the arrangement of one song. Nilssonâ€™s ability to hopscotch agilely from genre to genre carried over to his covers as well. He was able to sing an Irving Berlin, George Harrison or Randy Newman tune, all while seeming totally authentic.
Many of the singer-songwriters I admire have the finesse to move you and make you laugh simultaneously. Harry Nilsson is no exception. He moves easily between humor and heartbreak in songs like Donâ€™t Forget Me (from the album Pussycats) where he sings â€˜Iâ€™ll miss you when Iâ€™m lonely / Iâ€™ll miss the alimony tooâ€™. His voice has a rare honesty to it. It always feels to me like he is singing his heart out. Even on songs where I feel the arrangement is a little cheesy, I find the earnestness in his voice cutting through and drawing me back in. ”
The Source: RockTorch.com exclusive, 3/29/10
More on: Hurricane Lanterns
(Editor’s Note: Singer/songwriter Patrick Dodd is Hurricane Lanterns and is based in Seattle. I caught his uber-catchy single Besides These Things on KEXP and toe-tapped my way over to his website. Five minutes later I was downloading tunes from his debut album Hymns for the Misguided. Give the tracks a listen. You may just find your new favorite band.)
More on: Harry Nilsson
New to Harry Nilsson? Start here:: “The first, and my favorite album Iâ€™ve owned by him is Knnillssonn. I picked it up on a whim from a local record shop for five bucks because I was curious about him after hearing Everybodyâ€™s Talking in Midnight Cowboy. I remember coming home late and having to listen on headphones in the dark so as not to wake my housemates, which was the perfect way to hear it. Iâ€™d just had my heart broken badly and from the moment the needle hit the first note of All I Think About Is You, I was hooked.
Some pop records are guitar driven, some are centered around the keyboards, Knnillssonn is propelled by lush, lilting string arrangements, which are punctuated by sparse percussion and minimal guitar work. Giving it a quality as lonely and haunted as it is warm and inviting. Even the sad tracks have a sense of hope tucked away in them. Could an experience that led to such beautiful work be all bad? There are a couple of novelty numbers which I skip over at times, but even those have their good points. Nilsson Schmilsson is a favorite for a lot of folks, but Knnillssonn will forever be mine. Other albums by Harry Nilsson Iâ€™d recommend are: Pussycats, A Touch of Schmilsson in the Night and Son of Schmilsson.”
Buy the album here:
That’s the Way It Is/Knnillssonn
Or listen to a track from the album: