Anything Can Happen

Back in his early-’70s salad days, when he was ringmaster of Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs & Englishmen traveling circus, as well as sideman to stars like Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton, Leon Russell was known as ”Master of Space and Time.” On Anything Can Happen, however, he reminds you of the astronaut thrust into intergalactic oblivion by HAL, the computer in 2001: A Space Odyssey. You keep hoping someone’s going to reel him in; instead he keeps floating away. Evidence: his high-tech rap version of Chuck Berry’s ”Too Much Monkey Business,” featuring a freaked-out psychedelic guitar solo, and the title track, a lush ballad whose lyrics (”Let me wear the pants/You wear nothing”) sound like they fell off the back of Barry White’s truck. Not that this unguided missile of an album isn’t without its loopy charm. The Western-flavored ”No Man’s Land” and R&B-style ”Stranded on Easy Street” are solidly in the old, rollicking barrelhouse-piano-with-honking-horns Russell vein, and it’s hard to resist the bluesy worldview expounded on ”Life of the Party”: ”I’m the life of the party/I’m still standing up/I’ve got a few questions/I want to throw up.” B-

Anything Can Happen
  • Music