I told you Art For Art’s Sake would come back. We’re working our way through Art Garfunkel’s Seventies output, one song at a time.
9,637 days, including this one, have passed since my 17th birthday.
Some rough back-of-the-envelope math (after all, how precise can we get in matters of the heart?) suggests I have spent 9,064 of those days — or 94 percent — as part of a long-term romantic relationship.
And in those remaining days when I wasn’t tied down, I was generally content to be young, footloose, and free to spend all my money on records and beer without reproach.
In short, I do not have a hell of a lot of experience being truly lonely.
That might explain why Stephen Bishop’s “Looking For The Right One,” which sits smack in the middle of Side Two of Breakaway, leaves me cold. Could be I lack the life experience to connect with it.
Or, maybe it’s just another of those soggy self-pitying vulnerable soft-rock ballads whose heart-wounded narrators come out with lines like, “Somewhere in this lonesome city is the woman for me.”
Of course it’s melodically pretty and well-constructed; the bridge is concise and particularly effective (“yes, I really know”); and when Art takes the melody higher in the last chorus, things take off a little bit.
I still can’t help but think that, in the singer-songwriterly Seventies, you would get handed a song of equivalent quality when you opened a bank account or bought a Happy Meal in L.A.
I just don’t get the spark in this one — I don’t see what sets it apart from the world’s glut of romantic-troubador material. And as much fun as it is to listen to Art Garfunkel’s voice, it helps when he’s got material that’s more interesting or distinctive than this.
(The song did get placed as the B-side to Art’s hit version of “I Only Have Eyes For You,” which makes for a mildly funny ocular contrast if nothing else.)