Photo by Greg Allen
Emitt Rhodes was a pop genius when he released his first few albums at the beginning of the 1970s. Borrowing heavily from Paul McCartney’s Tin Pan Alley influences, his piano and acoustic guitar-based songs were a jaunt into the old days of music and were gems to hear.
Now, 43 years later, we’re hearing new music from him. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Rhodes is releasing his first album of new material since 1973. The album, titled “Rainbow Ends,” will be released Feb. 26 and features help from Jon Brion, Aimee Mann and Chris Price, among others. A track, “Dog on a Chain,” premiered on Speakeasy, the WSJ’s music blog.
Rhodes’ voice obviously has toughened over the years, a far cry from his spot-on McCartney imitation from “Somebody Made for Me.” He no longer looks 16, either, a full white beard making him look like Michael McDonald. The song has an alt-country tinge to it, but Mann and Brion’s influences keep it in line with today’s pure pop genre. It’s clear he still has it after four decades. I can’t wait to hear the rest of it.