Thursday, November 8, 2007

Razor Face

No, it's not a song about a horror-movie boogeyman- "Razor Face" is Bernie ruminating about a homeless person whom he (or the person narrating the song, as he may just be writing in character) seems to feel affection and sympathy for. Bernie doesn't judge or condescend, and that's refreshing.

It's set in a funky/bluesy sort of arrangement by Elton, and given somewhat of a rustic feel by Jack Engblom's accordion and Rick Wakeman's organ fills, which includes some frenetic soloing as the song concludes with Elton singing "I love your Razor Face". Actually, it sounds more like "love YOU" to me, and that makes more sense- but most lyric sources say "your", so that's what I go with here. This one really bears the Band influence due to the presence of the organ/accordion combo. And on the subject of influences, Elton does a nice job throughout on vocals, slurring and hitting high notes like Leon Russell in his prime.

It's a solid track, not one of the first you think of from the Madman album but one which sounds good when you hear it- it's a bit of a decompression after the surging "Levon" and a bit of a pick-me-up before the moody title track. It was the B-side of the "Tiny Dancer" 45 in the US, which only made it to the lower reaches of the Top 40.


Matt said...

I've always really liked the chord progression in this one, especially the beginning. Although it's funny--Elton's chord progressions eventually seem to pop up again in a later song. He has his little bag of musical tricks, like any songwriter, I guess...except maybe McCartney?

Johnny B said...

I've noticed that- I'm sure he has/had favorite chord blocks that came to him out of habit, and that's the sort of thing that provides recognizable style, if'n you ask me.

And McCartney has his bag, too- listen enough to his stuff and I'll bet you hear them.

Andrew said...

I only recently discovered this song and it is beautiful. I also hear "I love you Razor Face." Fantastic song.