116. Laura Nyro - Eli And The 13th Confession (1968)
3. Sweet Blindness
4. Poverty Train
5. Lonely Women
6. Eli's Comin'
8. Stoned Soul Picnic
10. Woman's Blues
11. Once It Was Alright Now (Farmer Joe)
12. December's Boudoir
So, now we know who Tori Amos sounds like. There is this whole discussion about how Tori sounds like Kate Bush, but Laura Nyro is really a much closer relative, not only in terms of voice but also in terms of lyrics, themes and the fact that Nyro plays piano.
This is a pretty interesting album, it is a mix of many different styles, from Jazz to Pop her themes cover everything from drug use to sexual exploration and even social problems, while following the general concept of a woman's sexual awakening in chronological order, and like Tori she sings in an alternatively quiet and loud voice, almost operatic.
This album is marked both by a variety of song styles but also a surprising coherence, that is carried by her voice and by the energetic quality of her performance in each of those tracks. The whole album is quite exceptional, that said it does demand repeated listenings in order to sink in. But if you are a Tori Amos, Kate Bush or any other female quirky singer-songwriter fan you really need to give this album a listen. So stream it from Napster or buy it from Amazon UK or US.
1. Eli's Coming
2. Stoned Soul Picnic
3. Woman's Blues
4. December's Boudoir
The concept of Eli and the Thirteenth Confession tracks the journey from childhood into womanhood. The first few songs explore the innocence of youth, while the middle of the album finds the central character discovering the perils of drugs and rogue lovers. By the album's conclusion, the character has grown into a sexually-aware adult, which is mirrored in the more passionate and feminine music towards the climax.
The title of the album is an amalgam of several features of the album. The album's centrepiece is the gospel rock song "Eli's Comin'," at the core of the album, which tells the story of a dangerous but irrestistible lover. The final song on the album is entitled "The Confession," while the "thirteenth" refers to the thirteen original songs included on the vinyl LP.
The cover art also reflects the concept. One of the featured images shows Nyro kissing the head of another Nyro, in three-quarter profile to give the illusion that she is a child, to symbolise the passing of her childhood (a "kiss goodbye.")