The title of Billy Joel's newest release, "The Stranger," may echo the Albert Camus novel, but once into it you soon discover that it is much more like a Remembrance of Things Pasta, an Italian-American nostalgia trip. True, it has a directness that Proust would probably have found appalling, but it gives the listener a unique opportunity to get into the head and feelings of a now grown-up ex-greaser through a group of songs that are at once a love letter and a farewell to youth, by turns touching, mordant, funny, gross (new sense), melodramatic, and naïve….
"The Stranger" works because Joel knows his territory firsthand. Beginning with Movin' Out (Anthony's Song), you know that the...
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