The beautiful thing about the Nilsson Sings Newman album is that it is a real collaboration between two musical giants with distinct personalities that somehow combine almost flawlessly. Harry's voice (pre Pussy Cats) was still angelic and pure, even if his interest in Newman's acerbic composition marks the beginnings of his fascination with darker material. Newman's presence on the disc (he plays all the piano parts) anchors the songs in his world, while Harry's usual fascination with elegant pop production filligree adds a Beatle-esque clarity and a romantic purity to many of the songs that Newman (actually a rather sentimental writer in his own way from time to time), with his gutbucket vocal quality, has rarely approached in his own performances.
Of all the great recordings on this wonderful album "Living Without You" remains my favorite. Maybe because the simple imagery of yearning meshes so well with the eager sorrow in Harry's voice. Or maybe because the first time I heard it, I was in the process of losing the great early love of my life thanks to the fact that I was a coastline away in a crummy summer stock situation, and the song perfectly captured my mood at the time.
As in every other song on Nilson Sings Newman, Harry's Beatle-esque side is apparent, but used with spare self-discipline to enhance the compositions and make them his own. If you don't own the album this song is included on, you have a major treat in store the minute you get around to it. -machineart, July 25, 20002