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Dark Matter is Randy Newman’s first studio album of all-new material since the 2008 release of his acclaimed Harps and Angels, an acerbic take on the state of America that Rolling Stone called “reason to wrap yourself in the flag and cheer.”
The ensuing years have proven Newman to be more prognosticator than mere commentator-his “A Few Words in Defense of Our Country,” its lyrics printed on the Op-Ed page of the New York Times in January 2007, seems even more relevant today, though by no means reassuring.
On Dark Matter, Newman jumps right back into the fray, opening the disc with the grand ‘The Great Debate’ a nearly nine-minute opus that feels like the opening number of a zany musical, featuring scientists, religious zealots, and a gospel choir, arguing about the existence of evolution, dark matter, climate change, and religion.