I know, I know. Music is largely a matter of personal taste. You can’t really argue someone into liking Mozart or Stravinsky or Cab Calloway, Elvis or Ella or Isaac Stern; a person either does or doesn’t.
Which philosophical position acts as a brake on my strong impulse to denounce Barry Manilow’s warbling as elevator music that is only marginally tolerable even in elevators limited to very short rides. Insipid melodies and utterly forgettable lyrics delivered in a voice that is practically invariable as to decibel level (a police siren has more technique).
Ah…I guess that brake isn’t working too well after all. Well, there are people who like him, and if you are one of them, I hope we can still be friends. Nonetheless, Manilow’s announced intention of recording duets with dead singers – many of whom are vastly his superior, and none much, if any, worse – strikes me, as it may even strike some of his fans, as a dubious proposition, very unlikely to shine in the annals of music history. (Barry Manilow and Judy Garland? You might as well punctuate Over the Rainbow with an occasional blast from a vuvuzela). Not exactly a sign of the end times, I suppose, but definitely a caution light on the road to perdition.