He's written some of the thorniest, darkest vignettes ever tucked into the verses and chorus of a pop song, but Randy Newman's greatest commercial successes have come with his most ephemeral material. "Short People" was a throwaway, albeit a terrific one, but it catapulted him onto pop charts and generated controversy among dim-bulbs who didn't realize he was kidding. Dwarfing that hit (pun intended) was "I Love L.A.," which has become an anthem despite the squalor of its imagery and Newman's hilarious inclusion of some of the ugliest thoroughfares imaginable in his litany of glorious local streets. Trouble in Paradise thus derives much of its familiarity from this one romping gag, yet its best songs tilt toward Newman's darker side, none more so than "Christmas in Capetown," which reconstructs the holiday through the eyes of an Afrikaner racist. Ho, ho, ho.