Release Date: Feb 26, 2016
Record label: Omnivore
What should one expect from an artist who has made his first album in over 40 years? And when you have a fan base that worships the work you made as a pop music prodigy in your teens and twenties, what are they to make of new songs recorded by the same man at the age of 65? If Emitt Rhodes spent much time pondering these questions while he was making Rainbow Ends, the first album he's released since 1973's Farewell to Paradise, you don't hear it in the final product; Rhodes has made an album that reflects the man he is today, not the guy who seemed like the new Paul McCartney on his 1970 solo debut, and it's clear (as it should be) this isn't the work of a young man focused on life's possibilities. Rainbow Ends is a set of songs where Rhodes looks back on his life, largely in terms of his relationships, and it most often focuses on the things that went wrong, whether he was the one who walked away ("Dog on a Chain"), he was the partner left alone and abandoned ("What's a Man to Do"), or he's still trying to figure out how it all went wrong ("This Wall Between Us" and "If I Knew Then"). Outside of "Put Some Rhythm to It," a witty tale of his failings as a dancer, Rainbow Ends is a litany of dark nights and broken hearts, and while the melodies often sound like the work of the man who wrote "Fresh as a Daisy" and "Live," these songs chart the path where the boy wonder grew into a rueful and cautious man.