Angel in the Dark

Angel in the Dark

by Laura Nyro
     
 
Laura Nyro’s untimely death in 1997 forever stilled one of pop music’s most original, and least easily categorized, talents. By that time, the 49-year-old Bronx-born singer-songwriter had deservedly acquired legendary status, as much for the many classic compositions covered in hit versions by artists as diverse as Barbra Streisand, Three Dog Night, the 5th Dimension,

Overview

Laura Nyro’s untimely death in 1997 forever stilled one of pop music’s most original, and least easily categorized, talents. By that time, the 49-year-old Bronx-born singer-songwriter had deservedly acquired legendary status, as much for the many classic compositions covered in hit versions by artists as diverse as Barbra Streisand, Three Dog Night, the 5th Dimension, and Blood, Sweat & Tears as for her own remarkable, genre-defying albums. Possessing a superbly soulful sound, equal parts honey and grit, the highly personal and passionate artist remained active until her passing from ovarian cancer. Angel in the Dark collects 16 of Nyro’s final studio recordings, 7 new songs balanced with 9 "heartbeat songs," standards like those sung in her youth with New York streetcorner harmony groups. Nyro’s luscious voice and piano elevate "Triple Goddess Twilight," "Serious Playground," and the stunning title song, while her stirring interpretations of the ‘60s tunes "Ooh Baby Baby," "La-La Means I Love You," and "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" and the Tin Pan Alley classic "Embraceable You" underscore how deeply Nyro is missed.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide
Angel in the Dark is a lovely recording featuring the graceful vocals and finely crafted songs that everyone expects from Laura Nyro. These sessions were completed in the summer of 1995 and represent the last music Nyro recorded. The title cut and "Sweet Dream Fade" mine the same soul terrain as her late '60s recordings, featuring horns and underlined by heavy guitar riffs. These upbeat pieces perfectly integrate voice, arrangements, and lyrics to create an organic whole, and are two of the best cuts on the album. Slower, piano-based songs like "Triple Goddess Twilight," "He Was Too Good to Me," and "Serious Playground" are mixed in-between these songs. These pieces are quieter and introspective, with Nyro's voice more intimate. It is almost as though she was sitting at the piano, late at night, and singing to herself. There are also several covers including "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" and "Let It Be Me." The first of these is over five minutes and has been slowed down so much that it drags. In fact, she slows down all of the covers as if to convert them into heartfelt ballads. This works best on "Ooh Baby, Baby," partly because the arrangement is fuller and more dynamic. One other standout is the upbeat "Gardenia Talk," filled with lively percussion and a sensual vocal. Angel in the Dark is a fine coda, perfect for late-night listening, and a perfect companion to Nyro's other recordings. ~ Ronnie Lankford Jr.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/27/2001
Label:
Rounder / Umgd
UPC:
0011661317628
catalogNumber:
613176
Rank:
49270

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Laura Nyro   Primary Artist,Piano,Electric Piano,Vocals,Vocal Harmony
John Tropea   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Michael Brecker   Tenor Saxophone
Bashiri Johnson   Percussion
Randy Brecker   Trumpet
Will Lee   Bass
Chris Parker   Drums
Jeff Pevar   Guitar
Bernard "Pretty" Purdie   Drums
Carol Steele   Percussion
Freddie "Ready Freddie" Washington   Bass

Technical Credits

John Tropea   Horn Arrangements
Laura Nyro   Producer
Smokey Robinson   Composer
Warren "Pete" Moore   Composer
Steve Rosenthal   Engineer
Wayne Yurgelun   Engineer
Tommy Mitchell   Horn Arrangements
Dan Gellert   Engineer
Eileen Silver Lillywhite   Liner Notes

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