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Christmas and the beads of sweat
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Top Customer Reviews
In some ways the difficulties in evaluating this recording are understandable. Nyro's ELI and TENDABERRY recordings have a uniquely timeless quality, and it would be difficult for a first-time listener to fix them at any particular year or even decade; SWEAT, however, is very distinctly rooted in the emerging music of the 1970s. But more to the point, the album sounds commercial while it is actually one of the least commercial recordings Nyro ever created: throughout SWEAT, Nyro repeatedly uses pop-music idioms, but she never actually allows them to evolve into anything that could be remotely described as pop music per se, and in the process she repeatedly leaves the listener hanging, waiting for musical phrases that she never creates. The result is a very strange tension between what one expects to hear and what one actually gets.
Of the nine selections on this recording, the two that inevitably take the most heat from critics are "Map to the Treasure" and the title cut "Christmas In My Soul;" oddly, however, they both bear a striking similarity to the most celebrated cuts from the recording: "Brown Earth," "Upstairs By A Chinese Lamp," and "Beads of Sweat.Read more ›
People, people, people... let's, for once, get it right. Laura Nyro, reluctant iconoclast to the end, could only respond effectively to the dictates of her muse. The rest of us were free to come to our own conclusions - in either direction.
If you look at the range of high-end musicians of her period who worked with her, you begin to understand just how unique and richly gifted she truly was. If you want to pick at her, you can say 'her voice was occasionally harsh and strident', or that 'her lyrics read like a diary authored on mescaline and absinthe'. Say what you like, you can't deny that:
1) Laura brought more honest and passion to her work than any but a very small group of her peers.
2) Her musical vocabulary was light years ahead of all but a very small group of her peers, and
3) Her integrity in consciously moving away from 'the biz' leaves no question as to her ultimate motivation - to produce the best, most meaningful music that she could.
4) Enough popular artists enjoyed success with her work to place her well up the list of "songwriters whose work enjoys mass acceptance".
For my part, I cringe every time I hear a L.N. cover by Three Dog Night or Fifth Dimension. It's the audio equivalent of pouring ketsup on Filet Mignon.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great CD by the multitalented singer/songwriter Laura Nyro. A great voice silenced at a young age but thankfully we have CDs of her work and we can only imagine what was to... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Lloyd E. Scott
Being a lover of her voice and music, I cannot give it anything but a Five.Published 15 months ago by Busdriver 0087
I bought this is in memory of my brother, Laura was his favorite vocalist in the late 60's & early 70's.Published 17 months ago by swyman10