If you're expecting to find another "Cat's in the Cradle" on this album, forget it. Portrait Gallery finds Chapin at the peak of his powers with a collection of story-songs as mundane, vacuous, overblown and cliché-ridden as any he's ever written. Even Sandy Chapin, Harry's wife and collaborator on the unusually good "Cat's in the Cradle," plummets to her husband's level by contributing to the abysmal "Tangled Up Puppet."
But enough of this. A single verse from "Bummer," side two's 9:57 soap opera, says more about this album than I could ever hope to say:
His mama was a midnight woman
His daddy was a drifter drummer
One night they put it together
Nine months later came the little black bummer.
Really, Harry. (RS 199)
(Posted: Nov 6, 1975)
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