11 Songs, 45 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

With New York Tendaberry (1969), Laura Nyro took the innovations of Eli And The Thirteenth Confession to even greater extremes. The emotional heights and depths of this album are not for the mellow-minded. Street-corner R&B, uptown jazz and Broadway musical forms are shattered and recombined in startling ways; instrumental colors flit, shiver and explode around Nyro’s dramatic piano chords and wailing vocals. The lyrics are as feverish as the music — she conjures up demonic lovers in “Captain Saint Lucifer” and “Gibsom Street” and contemplates murder in “Tom Cat Goodbye.” Pleasure and torment come wrapped together in tracks like “Sweet Lovin Baby.” There are glimpses of urban landscapes both jarring (“Mercy On Broadway”) and enraptured (the title track). Mitigating the moodiness are songs of gospel-tinged celebration — “Time And Love” rises to a joyful chorus, while the anthemic “Save The Country” burns with idealism. At times, Nyro teeters on the brink of excess, but her command of pop songwriting fundamentals saves her on this wildly risk-taking record.

EDITORS’ NOTES

With New York Tendaberry (1969), Laura Nyro took the innovations of Eli And The Thirteenth Confession to even greater extremes. The emotional heights and depths of this album are not for the mellow-minded. Street-corner R&B, uptown jazz and Broadway musical forms are shattered and recombined in startling ways; instrumental colors flit, shiver and explode around Nyro’s dramatic piano chords and wailing vocals. The lyrics are as feverish as the music — she conjures up demonic lovers in “Captain Saint Lucifer” and “Gibsom Street” and contemplates murder in “Tom Cat Goodbye.” Pleasure and torment come wrapped together in tracks like “Sweet Lovin Baby.” There are glimpses of urban landscapes both jarring (“Mercy On Broadway”) and enraptured (the title track). Mitigating the moodiness are songs of gospel-tinged celebration — “Time And Love” rises to a joyful chorus, while the anthemic “Save The Country” burns with idealism. At times, Nyro teeters on the brink of excess, but her command of pop songwriting fundamentals saves her on this wildly risk-taking record.

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