Song Of the week

036: Laura Nyro, ‘Sweet Blindness’ (“Eli & the 13th Confession”)

Laura Nyro’s masterpiece, “Eli & the 13th Confession”. She embraces her lover like a god, her God like a lover. It’s a pageant of bright lights and fierce emotions. It’s gospel and doo-wop and a spiritual carpet ride through sex, love, the elation and deflation of relationships, drugs, God, the devil. It’s a trip to the entire gallery of experiences of an eccentric, passionate, spiritual, loving person, and you’ll be a richer person for joining her.

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024: Oi Va Voi, ‘Refugee’

I’m a seriously committed Jew, but I don’t like any flavor of klezmer. I don’t believe in world peace, and I don’t like world music. I don’t believe in leaderless bands with amorphous rosters. But I’ve coerced literally dozens unsuspecting friends and acquaintances to listen to Oi Va Voi’s “Laughter Through Tears”, and nary a one hasn’t apologized for snickering. It’s is an utterly irresistible album.

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SoTW 13: Tim Hardin, ‘Black Sheep Boy’

Tim Hardin has perhaps the finest career I know of based on the fewest accomplishments. Two significant LPs in his mid-20s, a drug-ruined mess by 30, dead at 39, far fewer than a dozen great songs. But he managed to do more in two minutes than many others did in decades of writing and recording. Each song is a paragon of honesty and restraint – beautiful and precious, but without a millitrace of the maudlin. I guess it was hard to be so honest.

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