Her voice keeps switching from annoying to beautiful
Eli and the Thirteenth Confession is the second album by New York City-born singer, songwriter, and pianist Laura Nyro, released in 1968.
Her voice keeps switching from annoying to beautiful
Underrated, gorgeous, heartfelt gem. The vocals are lovely. Truly an underappreciated masterpiece.
I have never heard of Laura Nyro before, so I'm quite excited to go on on an album knowing nothing. She's really good. Soul, jazz and experimentation all banging together. It's an album I won't be sure about until I've given it more listens. But it makes me want to listen to it more. I went back for a second listen. I think I'm going to buy this one off the back of this. I could end up regretting the score I give it, as I feel like this could end up being a five star album to me once I've lived in it for a bit. How had I missed her all my life? I know I Met Him On A Sunday. It's a tune! It's not on this album, it just came up after it ended!
This production fucking slaaaaaaaps. Songwriting is fantastic. Great rhythm. One of my favorites I've heard on here so far. Sounds timeless to me. Big influence for Todd Rundgren too.
It's competently produced and her voice is fine, but the campy broadway-meets-60s-pop songwriting was not to my taste. When the horn section kicks in and it has hints of classic soul I tend to like it, other times it sounds like the schmaltzy Elton John records I tend to skip - there's more of the latter.
Loads going on and all of it is great. Slow sad songs, uptempo fun stuff. Powerful voice.
Really enjoyed this album. It was all over the place in a very good way. The band was on fire and the vocals were amazing. I appreciate the wide variety of sounds even within songs. A very interesting listen all around. Favorite tracks: “Lucky,” “Lu,” “Poverty Train,” and “Eli’s Comin’”
5/5 - surprisingly excellent
I feel like I've been misled, I thought Laura Nyro was going to be some Laurel Canyon folkie; this was quite something else! Absolutely eccentric in both writing and execution, but exhilirating for all that. I found Nyro's policy of teeing off wildly and playing where it lay to be endearing, but can fully understand that it could be disorienting or frustrating for others. Quite what is this anyway? Mutant show tunes? Soul-jazz-kitchen sink pop?
Standard 60s blue-eyed soul pop with an occasional dash of Gershwin-esque jazz and an extra helping of inane lyrics. Boring. Best track: Luckie
I have listened to this album many times before. Several years ago I became a huge fan of The 5th Dimension’s version of “Sweet Blindness.” When I found out it was originally written and performed by Laura Nyro, I landed on this album and was surprised to also find “Eli’s Comin’” (which I knew from Three Dog Night) and “Stoned Soul Picnic” (another 5th Dimension hit). These songs drew me in and I fell in love with the album and Laura Nyro. I wish I was sitting in a cabaret somewhere sipping on a Gin Gimlet and enjoying a live performance of these incredible songs. Laura Nyro’s vocals are exhilarating. She creates elaborate song tapestries with varied and interesting textures, stories and dimensions. You never quite know where her songs might go or end up, but every one of them is peppered with delightful surprises. It’s such an amazing journey… I LOVE this album. If you haven’t heard Laura Nyro perform “Eli’s Comin’” then you haven’t really ever heard it, no matter how much of a Three Dog Night fan you might be. Besides the three songs mentioned previously, I’ll give a special call out to “Luckie”, “Lu”, “Poverty Train”, “Lonely Women”, “Emmie”, “Women’s Blues”, “Once It Was Alright Now (Farmer Joe)”, and “The Confession”. Looking at the previous list I feel a little silly. I could single out any song on this album as it is a phenomenal work (did I really leave out “Timer” and “December’s Boudoir”?!). The whole journey is a thrilling, beautiful adventure and I love every twist and turn. ELI AND THE THIRTEENTH CONFESSION is a masterpiece that up until now I have had to myself. Being able to share the Laura Nyro experience with my friends today makes the world a whole lot brighter!
Wow! I went in with no expectations and came out with a deep appreciation.
weirdly loving this, feels like 4 or a 5 started grating after a bit Once it was alright now slaps tho
Great album could totally vibe to this
Failed to leave an impression
Man, I almost like this, but it's consistently pushing itself into show-tune territory and I just can't stand it. Like, I don't feel like she's brassy enough to pull off these big moments for me. I wish it was a smaller album, maybe? Like, a little more intimate, like what the album cover seems to suggest.
At first, I wasn't sure how I felt about her voice, but it grew on me as the album went along. And then it got annoying. I don't think I've ever experienced such a shift in my opinion of a singer's voice before? Certainly not over the course of one album. It might have been some of the repetitive lyrics she falls back on in a lot of songs that made it grating. Then again, it might just be her trying to hit those high notes. Either way, it wasn't a very fun listen.
Everything on this album has been done better by someone else and where it has been done better it fits within the context of the album it’s found on. This sounds more like a resume to showcase the range of the artist.
I’m not sure who Eli is or what he did to deserve being the namesake of this album, but I really hope he’s okay. The background instrumentals were acceptable for a few songs, but the positives (or neutrals, really) end just about there. I’m not sure what I expected, but as soon as “Luckie” started, I was feeling pretty unluckie. I would say the piano in “Stoned Soul Picnic” reminded me of Tapestry, but I wouldn’t want to insult Carole King like that. The repetition of “surry” throughout the song didn’t make much sense, so I’d like to think Nyro was apologizing profusely for the permanent ear damage she had caused over the years. I considered calling an ENT doc after both “Timer” and “Woman’s Blues.” By the end I’d almost pulled a Van Gogh, so I threw on Cosmo’s Factory and took a walk just to get some fresh air. As far as I’m aware this record hardly made it out of 1968, but I do know we should’ve left it there. Frankly, it’s a better fit for a list called “1001 Albums That Might Make You Want To Die.” Even then, it would rank pretty highly. If you haven’t listened to it… don’t. You can still spare yourself.
10/10 such a fun album no complaints, just some really fun pop I should listen to at least one or two other albums from her
Excellent album. Amazing how influential she was, and died so young. Such a tragedy. Fave track: stoned soul picnic.
Laura Nyro is one of those names I know but completely missed out on her music - somehow. And to my own detriment. Quick review: if you're partial to early 70s complex singer/songwriter artists like Carole King, Elton John, Todd Rundgren ... you will love this. There's definitely a strong and immediate Carole King comparison to be made in songs like "Stoned Soul Picnic" both in voice and melody; it's a high compliment yet I find Nyro in parts to be more complex in her arrangements. For example - the amount of tempo changes within songs isn't quite jarring but it is eminently noticeable in a way that forces you to listen to these songs. Heck you could almost call it progressive 70s AM gold. Summing up -> I think I love every minute of this album. The mix is a very clear recording, the music a preponderance of major 7th chords amidst jazz+pop progressions, gorgeous harmony, dynamics, varying melodies constantly in motion, variety in songs... giddyup. 9/10 5 stars.
This is incredible. I have heard of Laura Nyro but never listened. I always had the feeling for some reason that her music was somehow weird and would be a challenge to listen to. On the surface, it doesn't seem challenging at all --- I get a clear singer-songwriter pop vibe a la Carole King or Rickie Lee Jones --- and I can't figure out why she wasn't on the radio all the time when I was a kid. But, oh, yeah...melodies and rhythms and even styles change every couple of lines or so. She doesn't stay anywhere for very long...and I love it. My god, what a treasure.
Amazing soul pop, great vocals
Frábær plata. Verð að eignast. Greinilegur áhrifavaldur fjölda tónlistarfólks sem á eftir kom.
Holy crap. This is already awesome right from the start. Yeah, I dig it.
I had never listened to this before but I'm very glad I did. Her voice and the musical arrangements are superb. I could hear echoes of Motown and Atlantic soul on there too. This is an artist I'll be looking into more, and an album I shall certainly be playing again.
upbeat - talented and made me feel happy. Unexpected gem
Do you recall seeing the sun rise for the first time?
Laura Nyro should have been as popular and adored as Linda Ronstadt. In a way, she was Linda Ronstadt before Linda Ronstadt, the biggest difference being that Laura wrote all of her own songs. Ironically enough, most of those songs became huge hits for other artists, especially The Fifth Dimension. Nyro was somewhat press shy - you can't find any old televised appearances of her anywhere. But my word, did she write some perfect pop songs. Unfortunately Nyro didn't live long enough to see the acclaim that eluded her in life, such as being elected to the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame. But we still have the music, and all of those incredible songs. Laura Nyro knew that was ultimately all that mattered.
Never heard of it, absolutely loved it. So weird and all over the place. Knocks Sade I to a cocked hat.
Never even heard of Laura Nyro. I think that says enough about a male centered culture. This lead me to read a bit about her and listen more of her music. Interesting life and career. Great songs, very well played. If I'd listen to this record without knowing the year it was released, I'd think it's a new album, very contemporary. Great discovery.
This is a cool singer songwriter bop of a record. Great and effortless access to her head voice. Lonely Women is a great track. All these tracks are tight and powerful!
I didn't expect to like this album as much as I did, but I'm a sucker for piano. The songs blend together sometimes, but I still enjoy all of them. My favourite songs were Timer and Once It Was Alright Now (Farmer Joe).
Awesome, totally new to me but very glad I listened. Somewhere between Nina Simone and Carol King with a Phil Spector vibe. Blending soul, jazz, blues into lovely accessible pop.
Did not expect to like this but is was really good :)
There’s an incredible amount happening on this album. The sheer breadth and depth of musical ideas present here is breathtaking. This, combined with outstanding playing, singing and production, makes for an unexpectedly wonderful album. Akiko Yano (especially) and Kate Bush must have both surely been influenced by this album and Laura Nyro’s sound in their music.
S W A N K Y
tellement surprenant, je connaissais pas et je trouve ca vraiment excellent, j'ai des vibes de plusieurs trucs, notamment Joni Mitchell, et j'adore ca aussi, un 5 qui me surprend aussi
Daaamn, that album is so goood. All sounds fit perfectly. It is my great soul finding that I was looking for couple of months ago. Voice is really really good
An unexpected banger
This is some great stuff. Sounded fresh and innovative and reading how she was an influence on a ton of artists I love. Great little find.
Stunning mix of Northern Soul, Jazz and great songwriting. Pity I never heard of her before. One of the best discoveries here.
My God, would you just shut your stupid mouth for one second? FML. A steaming pile of shit getting shovelled into my ears. I hate this woman and everything she stands for. I hope she dies soon, if she hasn't already. Bitch.
It has just started and I already like it. The little change in rhythm at the end of Luckie really adds that pizzazz to the piece. There’s a hint of jazz and funk intertwined with the pop factor of this album. It takes all the best aspects of each genre and mashes together to make something beautiful. I really like Eli’s Comin’. The way she sings also gives the music a sort of refreshing feeling. Stoned Soul Picnic might be my favorite song in the whole album. I take it back, The Confession is my favorite. All in all, this album was amazing if you like old goodies. 10/10
Great voice, great album.
Beautiful and brilliant album! Loved it. Never heard of Laura Nyro before this and definitely going on my daily listening list.
Good good not bad
Can’t believe I never heard of her, had a Joni Mitchell vibe mixed with Sheena Easton, I really liked it.
old school New York singer. She influenced Elton John. This album was in Rolling Stone's top 500 albums of all time (somewhere in mid-400s).
A pleasant surprise of an album. Excellent singing by Nyro over an eclectic collection of sounds from diverse genres.
Quite enjoyable. a bit long but i really liked it
Pretty good pop album, with catchy songs
Never heard of Laura Nyro, but 2.5 tracks in I think this is GREAT! What a voice! Excellent record. Catchy, toe tapping, range of styles. Really nice songs that her voice elevates.
Right up my alley
Very good! And so nice to have a woman on here, finally! This is vibey! And the album cover is nice.
Quite liked this...
Ok Laura, go off! I’ve never heard of Laura Nyro and was not expecting to like this as much as I do. What a great voice.
Una voz envolvente, que hace disfrutar el álbum (casi) completo. Para deleitarse.
Sounds like the link between Carole King and Joni Mitchell. Lovely voice, soul meets jazz and pop. His did I miss this all these years?
Норм деваха исполняет
So good! Retro math rock
Love this album. 60 sounding, but very good.
Beautiful voice, amazed that I never heard of her before.
Powerful performances, incredible voice. A lot of clever gems hidden inside these recordings.
N I C E
I really liked this one a lot. Great vocals, the instrumentation is weird and super fits within the work. I added quite a few of the songs to one of my playlists.
Anything from 1968 makes me wary, this little project seems to insult me more often than not with absolute garbage from this period, but this doesn't strike me immediately as folk rock or psychedelic shit, looks more like it'll be jazz. Cover gives me jazz vibes. Ok it's pretty jazzy, but also kinda like the Supremes as well? Songs are upbeat for the most part and catchy. She can sing, too. And wrote all the songs according to wiki!! I'm honestly surprised I've never heard of her before. This is a really nice surprise, and a welcome change from groaning as I slog my way through the day's album haha. An actual worthy entry for 1968, who'd a thunk it? Lost a bit of steam towards the end but still gonna give it 4/5.
Wasn't the worst.
This is a style of music that has never quite done it for me, though somehow Joni Mitchell gets a pass for it with me. This one grew on me though as it went on. Still not really my thing but it's clearly hugely influential and objectively good.
Great singer/songwriter vibe. She reminds me of Carole King. Songs like "Sweet Blindness" are very indicative of their time. Horns, tambourine, vocalized "ba ba ba bas," like classic Dylan. These songs are well produced. I like that she has something to say. She's definitely a budding activist and she uses her music to entertain but also inform. She's as confident as they come, willing to intimately feature her voice with minimal accompaniment, which is raw, bluesy, and beautiful. I had heard Eli's Comin' and I always attributed it to some 70s band (3 Dog Night?), but I guess it was Laura Nyro. Good song! Stoned Soul Picnic is awesome! I am a Laura Nyro fan - she's an inspiration and a talent.
For a stretch - the first three songs, say - I felt that this was pleasant jazz-pop, but nothing to write home about. Sure, there are gestures at character, but the effect is that of one color of paint. But the rest of Eli convinced me that the paint was higher quality and the technique more subtle than I thought. The richness comes out as the songs are layered, and my perspective on the beginning of the record is very different now that I have heard the end.
A great selection from 60s pop. Favorites: Sweet Blindness, Poverty Train, Eli's Comin'
This album is so full of life, and what a voice!
I have heard of Laura Nyro in reference as an influence of other artists, but don’t recall ever hearing her work before. I will admit that it was not love at first listen…and I was surprised. The voice is beautiful, but the multiple changes within a single track did not set well with some listlessness that I was experiencing yesterday. I was aware that it was not her, it was me. So, I came back to it today and have enjoyed the experience much more.
It's a shame that with a voice and songs like hers that I have never heard of Laura Nyro. This was a pretty great album and though it seems a lot of artists knew that, I think it deserved more love from the general public. "Lonely Women" caught my ear as something even beyond really good, late 60s singer-songwriter material. I love the range of her voice in it. And then it goes right into the energetic "Eli's Comin'." This is when the album really stood out for me. "Stoned Soul Picnic" is a crazy cool song, and it's hard not to think of the 5th Dimension as I always associated them with this song. So much of what I thought was their sound is Nyro's sound. The song that really has everything I love about Laura Nyro is "Once It Was Alright Now (Farmer Joe)." I really wish I could figure out what the story is, but I sure like hearing it. I didn't fall in love with every song, but I am so happy I got to listen to this, and I look forward to listening to more of her as well as being aware of her influence on so many other artists.
spectacular voice, didn't expect such a great experience
This was really enjoyable. Never heard of this cat… so nice little discover!
Solide en vrai
first listen timeless sound, gonna listen to whole discography
Wow. What an album. Captivating from beginning to end. Many familiar tunes that I had no idea were hers; Eli's Coming and Stone Soul Picnic in particular. On first listen my favorite song is the blues burner The Poverty Train. This album is an important discovery for me and I expect it to be an important addition to my regular listening. 4.5 🌟
Rating: 7/10 Best songs: Lonely women, Eli’s comin
A really lovely surprise.
Never heard of her before, but very much enjoyed the album - will be definitely added to the list of ones I will be listening to again.
Amazing voice. Stone Cold Picnic is a classic.
Mooi album, zonder franjes
Well, this was different! I’ve heard the name Lauro Nyro before, but today was the first time that I’ve listened to any of her albums. There’s some really imaginative songwriting on here. “Poverty Train” was a stand out and my favorite track the first time through. It had a great intro, interesting tempo changes throughout the song and a complex song structure. The mood shift at the end “Eli’s Comin’ ” was a good hook as well. The rest of the songs on here are well crafted and well thought-out and the lyrics are quite good. This is the kind of album that will take a few listens to really get to know well due to the depth of the songwriting, but it was enjoyable enough the first time through to make that journey again.
I feel like I've heard a song or two by Laura Nyro and never knew who it was. Or maybe I'm confusing some of her songs with Carole King's. Great voice and even though it sounds like it's from a different era it doesn't sound dated. More than listening to the album I appreciated the prompt to learn about her and her massive influence on the industry (lot of songwriting credits and remakes of her work). For sure a 3, feels like a coin flip after that. Not quite my thing but I think I'm going up because I compared her to Carole King.
I can't really explain why but I've been looking forward to this album for a long time. I've never heard it before, never knew about this album or artist, but something about seeing it among albums on the list, or perhaps it was seeing it on the shelf at a record store, just intrigued me so much. It's all over the place in mostly good ways, spanning so many genres. For an album from the late '60s it's extremely impressive. A lot on here I will return to, including "Once It Was Alright Now" which, upon hearing for the first time, I immediately recognized as sampled by the 1975. This is a very quirky album, jazzy and full of life, especially for a singer-songwriter type project. I can imagine how many artists have been influenced by this one. I dig it. Favorite tracks: Once It Was Alright Now, Lu, Lonely Women, Emmie, Eli's Comin. Album art: Again, just seeing this one so many times intrigued me to the point of being excited about it without knowing anything about the artist or music, so that's huge. It's a portrait, but the contrast is strong. The facial expression and angle is intriguing, and I really love the font. 4/5
These are some truly incredible songs, and Laura Nyro is a wonderful singer to boot. Not only is her voice sweet, but she's full of personality that brings each song to life. Is it perhaps a little long and over-indulgent? Sure, but it can be forgiven for the level of quality on display here. Nyro can really play with the best of them, easily at the same level as Sgt. Pepper's or Pet Sounds. These are not simple singer/songwriter songs, no sir.
She's got a lovely voice. Interesting lyrics
I loved this album! the vocals were great. I thought the songs were good. and I liked
Wow -- some frenetic ballads and effusive singing. So many of the songs undulate between soft and loud, slurred and staccato, theatrical to moody, fast and slow. The variety and energy feels innovative :D
24th August 2022 Listened in the morning on the journey in to the office. Had leaving drinks in the evening with the FT lot. I loved this album, it felt very bohemian and soft. What a lovely voice.
Doesn't look like anything I'd want to listen to. But from the first note I'm immediately schooled on why you don't judge a book by the cover. I love what this album is going for. Although now that I look closer I see it isn't old-timey it is old old-timey. Instrumentation, style, lyrics and vaguely bonkers nature of the songs taken all together really speaks to me. Slightly more power and control in the voice and this would be 5 stars. I already had one song, Eli's Comin', marked with a heart even though I have no idea who this is or how I would have run into her music before. Fun: Luckie, Lu, Eli's Comin', Once it Was Alright Now Not great: Sweet Blindness, December's Boudoir (there's bonkers and then there's *bonkers*)