Tryin' to Get the Feeling

Tryin' to Get the Feeling

If Barry Manilow II caused countless fans to swoon, the singer’s third album went on to consummate the love affair. Tryin’ To Get The Feeling (1975) gave Barry’s audience all they desired: show-stopping ballads, teasing uptempo tunes and plenty of the warmly intimate moments that had become a Manilow signature. The album loosely resembles a New York nightclub review, with tongue-in-cheek skits (“A Nice Boy Like Me”), softly-lit confessions (“Lay Me Down”) and stand-up-and-cheer finales (“Beautiful Music”) all part of the show. Manilow draws back the curtain for a show-biz vignette in “She’s A Star” (whose subject bears a certain resemblance to old Continental Baths cohort Bette Midler). Most importantly, he delivers the heart-tugging goods on the title track and “I Write The Songs,” a pair of truly career-defining tunes. Rippling disco grooves and jazz-inflected piano give the album an uptown sheen. But for all the glitter here, there’s also something open and vulnerable about Manilow’s persona that draws the listener closer. Together with his fans, the artist seems swept away by the sheer joy of music – that’s the feeling this album celebrates.

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