For most college kids, the thought of having to listen to the entirety of a Barry Manilow album is on par with being urinated on by a hippopotamus. Well, I’ve been tinkled on by a hippo and trust me, that was akin to enjoying a glass of artisan lemonade compared to having to listen to Manilow’s recently re-released 1976 album This One’s For You. This is pop music from a different age, an age when quality apparently didn’t matter. How do I know this? My mom listens to it.
The album has four bonus tracks that were previously unreleased for good reason. The worst of the bonus tracks, “I Really Do Write the Songs,” is a grating number about, well, how to write a corny Manilow-esque song. It’s like telling kids how to make an atomic bomb. It’s just dangerous. Another Barry Manilow is the last thing the world needs right now.
Despite the awe-inspiring amount of crap on this album, there are a few genuinely good songs that may even appeal to today’s listeners. “Say the Words” is an exceptionally orchestrated number with mellow bass and drums and cool vocal harmonies. “See the Show Again” is a song with beautiful, unusual chord progressions, complex piano parts and great ’70s guitar accents.
The few good songs on this release can’t save it, however, from garish numbers like “Jump Shout Boogie,” a song that sounds as if it was lifted from a showy Las Vegas revue. This One’s For You probably isn’t for you, at least not if you have taste. The expiration date on this album has long since passed. Leave this one for the baby boomers.