Billy Joel
Streetlife Serenade


3.5
great

Review

by Kenneth E. Rathburn USER (69 Reviews)
June 15th, 2011 | 3 replies | 4,628 views


Release Date: 1974 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Proves to be another good, if still relatively unimposing example of what Joel is best-known for.

1 of 1 thought this review was well written

By the time Billy Joel had experienced the success of Piano Man, he had already gotten a prime taste of the music industry. And like a fair number of other artists, his reaction couldn't exactly be argued as entirely and positively content. Disagreements and frustrations with studios would come to influence what would show in a few songs for his upcoming releases. Thus, listeners were given a slightly more rebellious nature to the then-recent sensation of Joel with his third album, Streetlife Serenade.

All that one needs for a perfect taste of how the young, angst-filled musician felt is a listen to "The Entertainer" and the accompanying lyrics. While other tracks exhibit a more or less bitter tone, this song definitely sees the peak of what Joel attempted to express. And as it turns out, the highly fueled and frantic nature helps make said song sound lively and vivid. In fact, between the almost back-to-back ordering of "The Entertainer" and the classic, fast-piano instrumental "Root Beer Rag," the rest of the album can begin to sound dull. Quite a few songs here are on a slower pace than what audiences likely expected after Piano Man, with a calm Sunday afternoon vibe embodying them.

Make no mistake, however, for Streetlife Serenade isn't in short supply of the style of tracks which Joel has probably written about more than any other: the ladies. "Roberta" and even "Los Angelenos" can be taken in this light, both of which feel like siblings next to each other. That is, the music is fairly relaxed, upbeat (even when slow) and sung with a mildly romantic voice. Much of the rest of the album falls into a similar mold, which is found during these two points. Granted, some exhibit this better than others, including "Last of the Big Time Spenders" and opening track, "Streetlife Serenader" by the time it builds up. Really, Streetlife Serenade turns out to be a mix of songs which either feel fitting for a leisurely afternoon, or at a bar (namely during a karaoke night).

Billy Joel doesn't make much progress from Piano Man to this album. If anything, one might say that the highlights of the former overshadow what's present here. A couple more rebellious moments than usual aside, this is essentially the Piano Man doing what he does most comfortably. As such, it's a very basic and easy album to pinpoint; one that's best for casual listeners.



Recent reviews by this author
Sonata Arctica Pariah's ChildSonata Arctica Stones Grow Her Name
Sonata Arctica The Days of GraysSonata Arctica Unia
Sonata Arctica Reckoning NightSonata Arctica Winterheart's Guild
user ratings (41)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Xenorazr
June 15th 2011



424 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Keeping them coming.

BigHans
June 15th 2011



26455 Comments


Im not familiar with this album, except for "The Entertainer." Good review again.

Xenorazr
June 15th 2011



424 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

It's in-between by Joel's standards. More consistent than Piano Man, but less stands out.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy