…Famous Last Words… was the last album that Roger Hodgson made with Supertramp before seeking a solo career, and he made sure that radio would take kindly to his last hurrah with the band. Sporting an airy and overly bright pop sheen, …Famous Last Words… put two singles on the charts, with the poignant "My Kind of Lady" peaking at number 31 and the effervescent smile of "It's Raining Again" going to number 11. The album itself went Top Ten both in the U.S. and in the U.K., eventually going gold in America. The songs are purposely tailored for Top 40 radio, delicately textured and built around overly bland and urbane choruses. Hodgson's abundance of romantically inclined poetry and love song fluff replaces the lyrical keenness that Supertramp had produced in the past, and the instrumental proficiency that they once mastered has vanished. Hodgson's English appeal and fragile vocal manner works well in some places, but the album's glossy sound and breezy feel is too excessive. Hodgson gave his solo album, 1984's In the Eye of the Storm, a mildly progressive feel, quite unlike his last appearance with his former group.
Although it is played on a period instrument, no one is arguing that this recording of Haydn's The Seven Last Words of Christ is historically authentic. The work, exceptionally in Haydn's output, exists in multiple versions, for orchestra, string quartet, chorus, and keyboard (either fortepiano or harpsichord). But surely Haydn did not have the instrument heard here, the rare tangent piano, in his head. This was, speaking roughly, a piano-harpsichord hybrid that never really found its footing in the late 18th century. As long as listeners are down with the idea of a fairly speculative recording, the effect of the tangent piano in this particular work is electrifying. Lubimov gets the best of both worlds: the intimacy of the keyboard version and the dynamic contrasts and timbral shadings of the orchestral original. The keyboard transcription is not by Haydn himself but was made in his own time, and he approved it. Lubimov works from this, tweaking it and adding contrasts that break up the seven consecutive slow movements and give them an extraordinarily expressive quality.