Emitt Rhodes was the main creative force behind Sixties legends, The Merry-Go-Round. That he's back is cause for celebration. The reason for his return is the warm and affecting new solo album from Rhodes, Rainbow Ends, out today on Omnivore Recordings. Filled with contributions from power pop legends -- Jason Falkner, Susanna Hoffs, Roger Manning Jr. -- who were inspired by this very legend, the album offers up the sort of showcase of rich songwriting that one should welcome with open arms.
"If I Knew Then" charms like a Randy Newman melody smoothed out into a radio-friendly hit, while "This Wall Between Us" channels the peak years of ELO and Paul McCartney and Wings into something direct and catchy. Speaking of the Seventies, there's a decided Doobies-vibe to "Put Some Rhythm To It" -- all hooks and harmonies in the back. "What's a Man to Do" offers a languid lament that, instrumentally, is in the same ballpark as Buckingham's bits in Fleetwood Mac, while album closer and title cut "Rainbow Ends" is a gentle and affecting bit of optimism that recalls the best moments on something like Paul Simon's Hearts and Bones (1983).
Emitt Rhodes' Rainbow Ends is the product of one of the best, most underrated, songwriters of the Sixties. Simplifying his approach on this album has enabled Rhodes to deliver some of his most affecting music in decades. Welcome back Emitt, you were missed!
Rainbow Ends by Emitt Rhodes is out today on Omnivore Recordings.