Harry Connick, Jr.: Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans


Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans


Harry Connick, Jr. (piano, vocals)


20 (Sony/BMG 723256)

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Harry Connick, Jr. (piano, vocals), Dr. John (piano, vocals).

Composed by Eddie DeLange and Louis Alter


Recorded: New York City, May 4-5 and June 28-29, 1988


Rating: 93/100 (learn more)

When New Orleans' native son Harry Connick, Jr. recorded his second album 20 two decades ago, the world and Southern Louisiana's portion of it were in a different place and time. No 9/11 and no Homeland Security, no Hurricane Katrina, and no feeble FEMA response. This classic song was just a lonely, lovely lament for a languid city recalled from afar. But post-Katrina, the song has become not an indictment but a reminder of how America was blown off-course for nearly a decade, with government neglecting the social infrastructure and then failing to save a great city from drowning.

Connick, who, at the time of this album, fancied himself as the next Sinatra, was quite a charmer on this particular track, and it didn't hurt a bit that guest vocalist Dr. John appeared on it. However, their alternating leads make for funky contrasts that don't really strike enough sparks. If they were to recut their duet today, they would likely find ways to sound more threatening, and their casual, final surprise ("I miss the one I care for more than I miss New Orleans") would then become a statement confirming the Bush administration's laissez-faire and, ultimately, racist political attitude.

Reviewer: Ed Leimbacher


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