Home Read Classic Album Review: Barry Manilow | Here at the Mayflower

Classic Album Review: Barry Manilow | Here at the Mayflower

The crooner's Broadway-style concept album is less vomit-inducing that usual.

531

This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):

 


I’ve heard of elevator muzak, but this is ridiculous: Barry Manilow’s latest disc Here at the Mayflower is a Broadway-style concept album about the interwoven lives and loves of residents in a fictional apartment block.

Naturally, my first thought was probably the same as yours — having The Man Who Writes the Songs That Make the Whole World Cringe lurking in your high-rise isn’t a musical, it’s a horror movie (“The calls are coming from Barry Manilow … and he’s in the building!!”). But once you get past the ham-fisted everybody-has-a-story concept, Mayflower is the least vomit-inducing Manilow album in some time. (Feel free to blurb that, record company publicists!) A decent number of tunes lean more toward jazzy pop than syrupy shmaltz, and Barry even tries to get hip by flirting with retro-swing, Latin pop, AutoTuned vocals a la Cher and other sorta contemporary bits here and there. No, this ain’t gonna win him a slot on Ozzfest. But hey, you gotta give him a couple of points for trying. As long as he doesn’t show up outside my door; then I’m getting a gun.