On this 1971 album, Carole King proved that she could follow up her era-defining Tapestry. Like any of her great recordings, it sounds here as if her heart is trapped in someone else’s nostalgia—it’s at once familiar like loneliness but distant enough not to sound weary. She sways effortlessly between singer/songwriter fare, pop, and jazzy cool. Over soothing pianos and strings she sings about learning empathy on “It’s Going to Take Some Time,” addresses racial tolerance with Marvin Gaye–like nuance on “Brother Brother,” and rocks the West Coast mellow on both “Back to California” and the sugary “Sweet Seasons.”

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