Essential New Music: Emitt Rhodes’ “Rainbow Ends”


By the 1970s, singer/songwriter Emitt Rhodes had left the sunshine pop ensemble the Merry-Go-Round and was making a name for himself as a gifted solo artist, creating one-man masterpieces like his eponymous LP and its follow-up, Mirror. Overdubbing all of the instruments and vocals in his home studio, Rhodes drew comparisons to Paul McCartney and Todd Rundgren. At the time, Rhodes’ voice boasted similarities to McCartney, and his golden melodies were undeniably Beatles-esque.

Now, 43 years after his last album, Farewell To Paradise, comes Rainbow Ends. He’s now lovingly surrounded by 21st century sonic stylists, including Roger Joseph Manning, Jason Falkner, Susanna Hoffs, Aimee Mann, Jon Brion, and his L.A. status as mythic pop godfather remains. His velvet voice has aged, but with elegiac tunes like “Dog On A Chain,” “Someone Else” and “Friday’s Love,” you can still hear the gifted genius who charmed a true legion of harmonic pop savants.

—Mitch Myers