A fairly clever nose-thumb at the record industry, “The Entertainer” is still relevant today, even if the synthesizers aren’t. “The Last Of The Big Time Spenders” is a late-night stroll through early Tom Waits territory, but “Weekend Song” is crammed to the gills with just about every “workin’ man” cliché still exploited every Friday for people headed to happy hour. A pretty nocturne gets words for “Souvenir”, which would be the obvious end to the album if not for “The Mexican Connection”, a fairly ordinary instrumental.
As with the previous album, Streetlife Serenade is impeccably produced and performed, with many of the same Hollywood session guys. The cover notes even split the tracks between “One Side” and “Another Side”, although the labels don’t reflect that on the copy we have. Even if the world wasn’t noticing, he’d established a style for himself, musically and vocally. It remained to be seen whether we could expect instrumentals on every album.
Billy Joel Streetlife Serenade (1974)—3