Barry Manilow at BankUnited Center January 29

Does Barry Manilow even exist? Or was the Manilow concept brewed by aesthetes in the Laboratory of Cool to give record-store clerks and music snobs a clear enemy to rail against? It might be something like Saddam Hussein circa 2002, only instead of WMDs, we're dealing with the globally relevant threat of adult contemporary.

Anyway, if you don't know (and we're sure you do), Barry Manilow is the pope of smooth crooning and big band crescendos. His music is lounge-y but also epic in that ol'-time-showbiz kind of way. As our grandmothers might say, the man is an entertainer! And yet, the first line of his allmusic.com biography reads: "In terms of both record sales and career longevity, Barry Manilow is one of the most successful adult contemporary singers ever. That success hasn't necessarily translated to respect (or even ironic hipster appreciation) in most quarters." It's sad... Dude can't even get an ironic break!

 
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