Record Collector (magazine) - p.1015 stars out of 5
-- "Nyro proves herself a master of emotional button-pushing, continually shifting gears throughout a superlative collection."
Originally released on Verve Forecast (FTS 3020).
Although not released under this title until 1973, these 12 songs were recorded by Laura Nyro in 1966, when the singer-songwriter was an unknown 20-year-old from the suburbs of New York City. Verve/Forecast released these songs at the time as MORE THAN A NEW DISCOVERY, but that album disappeared almost immediately on release.
Although there's certainly a pop sensibility to songs like "Wedding Bell Blues," Nyro's vocal style is strictly out of the jazz and gospel tradition. Much more musically and lyrically direct than her convoluted later albums, over half of these songs were covered by other artists, including the Fifth Dimension--who recorded fully a third of this album!--Barbra Streisand, and Blood Sweat and Tears, whose gimmicky version of the gospelly "And When I Die" was among Nyro's first songwriting hits. As fine as some of those covers are, the originals are far superior.