A Winchester bootfair record that had been on “the list” since I first heard it a few years ago at friend’s late-night listening session. Compellingly (and compulsively?) unorthodox rhythmically, Eli is more Off-Broadway than off-its-head, betraying few hallmarks of its “Summer of Love” vintage (apart from an adventurous spirit) and more of the pop-soul vibe of a few years hence. Suffice to say, Nyro’s songwriting, vocal, arranging and instrumental talent is as prodigious as it is unique. An influence on a generation of quirky female singer-songwriters (and Todd R.) by effectively defining left-field in this context, a little Laura goes a long way, her idiosyncratic vox turning a bit shrill and precious at times. Still, this wilful, wonderfully alive, red wine record is perfect if you’re in the right mood. Which is right now.
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