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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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
A hangover would make this torture. I tried hard with this record, and it fizzed around the cerebrum as I puzzled out how I can like this record only at a distance no less than a kilometre. Laura Nyro knew the notes and wanted us to hear all of them, damn the expense, no decibels spared. There are some good, maybe exquisite songs here and I can’t get to them past the beautiful artillery barrages. The words, parcelled by someone with a passion for the baroque, sound like they might be conversational, confessional and fascinating, and they are lost when shouted across an exquisitely decorated brasserie. Une chanteuse-lance flammes. Something I read persuaded me to buy “New York Tendaberry” a medium while back, and I remember the same experience of being deflected by the force of delivery. I might enjoy this if the intensity was dropped from 11 to 6, if she stole Sinatra’s knack of turning songs into softly spoken monologues, or maybe if I had a few more years in me, maturing my sensibilities, or at least the ears a blissful degree. It’s a sumptuous suite, full of trinkets to linger over, I just can’t get comfortable in it, and I don’t understand as I don’t have this problem with other blisteringly forceful singers. Will try again one day. Reckon Tendaberry will be somewhere on this list, ey?
Failed to leave an impression
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.
forgotten '70s singer-songwriters are usually my weak spot, but this didn't do much for me other than Stoned Soul Picnic, which I knew already. I'll save a higher rating for the inevitable Tapestry
A fine vocalist and a well-composed album, but it feels directionless.
How is this must hear? Annoying voice and lyrics Make this a must miss
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
her voice sounds very beautiful and the jazzy vibes is awesome some of the songs take a while to get good but the other songs being good throughout it all make up for it
So different, so fresh. She changes things up so much in her songs and I can sense genius.
What a hidden gem!
This is precisely why I signed up for 1001. How could I have never come across this album in all my years? Just breath-takingly beautiful. Each song seems to walk a line between exquisite pop and fascinating experimentation. Wild, almost unpredictable structures, that kept me on my toes the whole time. She comes across like a more bombastic Joni Mitchell with bigger arrangements. I love Joni, but I think I might like this more? I feel like I've finally been let in on one of music's greatest secrets.
Excellent, excellent album. Sad that I've never heard of Laura Nyro but grateful that I'm hearing it now.
Lyrics: Pros: Poetic Depth: Nyro's lyrics on "Eli and the Thirteenth Confession" are a masterclass in poetic depth and emotional resonance. She weaves intricate narratives that explore themes of love, identity, and societal issues. Each song is a lyrical journey that invites the listener into Nyro's introspective and often enigmatic world. Emotional Authenticity: Nyro's lyrics are deeply personal and reflective of her own experiences. The emotional authenticity in her words resonates with listeners, creating a profound connection. Songs like "Emmie" and "Eli's Comin'" are prime examples of Nyro's ability to convey complex emotions through her poetic expressions. Cons: Obscurity of Meaning: At times, Nyro's lyrics can be cryptic and open to interpretation. While this ambiguity adds a layer of intrigue, it may also pose a challenge for some listeners who prefer more straightforward storytelling. The abstract nature of her lyrics could potentially alienate those seeking more concrete narratives. Music: Pros: Innovative Song Structures: Nyro's approach to songwriting is refreshingly innovative. She plays with unconventional song structures, incorporating unexpected shifts in melody and rhythm. This experimentation keeps the music engaging and challenges traditional expectations, setting Nyro apart from her contemporaries. Diverse Musical Influences: The album seamlessly blends various musical genres, including jazz, soul, pop, and rock. This eclecticism adds a unique flavor to each track, making the listening experience dynamic and unpredictable. Nyro's ability to draw from a wide range of influences showcases her musical prowess. Cons: Complexity may be Overwhelming: The intricate musical arrangements might be overwhelming for some listeners. Nyro's compositions are layered and demand active engagement. Those seeking more straightforward, easily digestible music might find the complexity of the arrangements challenging to navigate. Production: Pros: Innovative Production Techniques: "Eli and the Thirteenth Confession" features innovative production techniques that were ahead of its time. The use of multi-tracked vocals, unconventional instrumentation, and creative studio effects contribute to the album's distinct sound. The production enhances the overall artistry of the music. Attention to Detail: The meticulous attention to detail in the production is evident throughout the album. From subtle background nuances to bold sonic choices, every element is carefully crafted. This attention to detail enhances the immersive quality of the listening experience, allowing the audience to discover new layers with each playthrough. Cons: Period-Specific Sound: While the production was groundbreaking in the late '60s, some elements might sound dated to modern ears. The sonic characteristics of the era, such as certain vocal effects and recording techniques, might pose a barrier for listeners accustomed to contemporary production aesthetics. Themes: Pros: Exploration of Femininity: Nyro's exploration of femininity, love, and identity is a standout theme on the album. She challenges traditional gender roles and societal expectations, presenting a feminist perspective that was progressive for its time. Songs like "Stoned Soul Picnic" and "Sweet Blindness" embody this thematic exploration. Social Commentary: Beyond personal themes, Nyro engages in social commentary, addressing issues like racial inequality and societal unrest. The relevance of these themes persists, adding a timeless quality to the album's lyrical content. Cons: Potential Overload of Themes: The album covers a broad spectrum of themes, which, while enriching the listening experience, may be overwhelming for some. Nyro's ambitious scope could result in a lack of cohesion for listeners who prefer more focused thematic exploration within an album. Influence: Pros: Impact on Singer-Songwriter Genre: "Eli and the Thirteenth Confession" has had a lasting influence on the singer-songwriter genre. Nyro's innovative approach to songwriting and production set a precedent for future artists, inspiring a generation of musicians to explore new avenues of musical expression. Cross-Genre Appeal: The album's fusion of diverse musical genres contributed to its cross-genre appeal. Nyro's willingness to transcend musical boundaries paved the way for artists to experiment with genre conventions, fostering a more inclusive and eclectic music landscape. Cons: Limited Mainstream Recognition: Despite its influence, the album did not achieve widespread commercial success upon its release. This limited mainstream recognition may have hindered its impact on the broader music scene during the late '60s. Conclusion: "Eli and the Thirteenth Confession" remains a landmark album that defies easy categorization. Laura Nyro's distinctive voice, coupled with her fearless exploration of complex themes, establishes this record as a timeless piece of art. The album's influence on subsequent generations of musicians and its enduring appeal attest to its significance in the evolution of popular music. While the album may pose challenges for listeners seeking more straightforward narratives or contemporary production aesthetics, its merits lie in its artistic ambition, lyrical depth, and musical innovation. "Eli and the Thirteenth Confession" is not merely a collection of songs; it is a cohesive, immersive journey that invites listeners to explore the multifaceted nature of human experience through the lens of a remarkably talented and daring artist.
I love curvy Jewish bisexual potheads so this was extremely My Thing.
In terms intimate and exuberant. Nyro had a gift for songwriting and a gorgeous voice. Always one of my favorites!
Gets a little too into ballads at time but it’s got so many cool aspects. I’m giving it a 5 for be going so cool and existing before 1970
Really blown away, such a groovy unique record that sounds like it could’ve come out decades after the actual 1968 release. The production is so crisp and clear it’s almost unbelievable. Thick horn barrages, driving piano beats, this album is sick. Did a bit of reading on Laura Nyro too and was astonished by the influence she holds on so many incredible artists. Listening to this it’s really no surprise, but I’m ashamed for not having known of her prior to this. At least I do now! Thank you album generator! Top tracks: Luckie, Lu, Sweet Blindness, Eli’s Comin’, Timer, Stoned Soul Picnic, Woman’s Blues, The Confession
Classic, bluesy. A writer's showcase. Hits made bigger by other artists.
I love Laura Nyro's greatest hits album. I've listened to it many times. This is the first time listening to one of her studio albums. I was going to give this a 4/5 as I don't like the slow, stripped down songs as much, and her voice can get a bit shrill on the high notes. But I listened to it again this morning, and I think I was just being too critical. There are plenty enough great songs here to push this up to a 5/5. Did she lift "she got the way to move me" on Emmie from Neil Diamond's Cherry, Cherry? Favorites: Lu, Sweet Blindness, Stoned Soul Picnic, Eli's Comin'.
I may be a tad generous rating this one, but I am trying to influence the curve. Laura is a very underrated songwriter and performer and he blend of folk, jazz and soul is quite unique. Listen to this and the. A greatest hits collection.
La característica pop es esencial en este disco ya que la voz siempre mantiene un elemento protagónico en todo momento. Todos los arreglos se deben a la vocalista y los cambios de ritmo y de estilo hacen muy interesante la macrodinámica del album. Tiene arreglos y armonías muy jazzisticass combinados con arreglos vocales del góspel. Sin embargo, muchas veces presenta arreglos de soul y blues
This is really cool. I dig the time changes and movement going on. The singing too. This one of those that I’m going to go 4.5 because while I need to spend more time with it I can feel how amazing it is. Felt like Todd Rundgren’s Wizard. But it predates that, along with a lot of stuff that is obviously inspired by it. Gonna have to come back to this one.
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.