Music Review: Graham Parker’s ‘The Up Escalator’

Graham Parker's 'The Up Escalator'

Though vital and noteworthy by comparison with much of what makes it onto record these days, Graham Parker’s The Up Escalator pales alongside its predecessor. The singer continues to evidence large talent and a collection of fascinating obsessions; and there are some real joys here, such as a brief duet with Bruce Springsteen in “Endless Night” and the thematic focus and instrumental interplay of “Empty Lives.” Nevertheless, this album is a disappointment, thanks (or no thanks) largely to Jimmy Iovine’s calculated-sounding production, the absence of erstwhile keyboardist Bob Andrews, and the de-emphasis on the Rumour.

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