Laura Nyro's third Columbia effort is easily the equal of her previous two. The overwhelming strength of her song writing and distinctive arrangements fuel Christmas and the Beads of Sweat. Her unmistakable style of delivery maintains the continual examination of herself as a performer. The results are uniformly interesting and provocative as she continues to draw upon her love of jazz, folk, and R&B – which would inform Nyro's next album ,Gonna Take a Miracle, featuring the soul vocal trio LaBelle. Conceptually, this album is as potent as her previous effort, New York Tendaberry, but in a much different way. Rather than hanging together thematically, Christmas and the Beads of Sweat features two inclusive and distinctive sides of music – with different musicians and producers for each.
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 entry into the Japan-only Premium Best series highlights the recordings of composer/performer Laura Nyro. Unlike other single-CD North American compilations, this 16-track disc gives sufficient time to her tragically underappreciated post-Smile recordings. Several of these titles are not even available on CD in the States, which is perhaps correlated to the seeming lack of interest. There are actually numerous advantages to this collection – not the least of which is the artist-sensitive track list. Presumably the Premium Best series is aimed at the casual enthusiast, as the hardcore collector would either already own the contents or buy it anyway if they were a completist. By including seminal album sides such as the imperially haunting "New York Tendaberry" and "Upstairs by a Chinese Lamp," a more accurate overview of Nyro's career is presented here.
Italian pop star Laura Pausini's first English LP, From the Inside, is a guilty pleasure for any closeted fan of easy-listening pop (Celine Dion, Michael Bolton, Backstreet Boys). The album kicks off with the glorious "I Need Love," a song that earned her U.S. exposure when the ABC daytime drama All My Children used it as a love theme. Other highlights include "Every Day Is a Monday," a Europop mainstream song laced with a wah-wah guitar, and the Dion-like "Without You." Pausini is clearly influenced by Dion. Her voice doesn't soar to the heights that Dion reaches, but she comes close in songs such as "If That's Love" and "Every Day Is a Monday." Like most albums filled with love songs, "surrender" is a theme throughout From the Inside, especially in the funky ballad "Do I Dare" and the Europop "Surrender." This is one album to surrender to.
Laura Tarbell creates an intense, innovative workout to challenge even the toughest of athletes. Tarbell Pilates “Ultimate Abs and Core” strengthens every angle and every layer of the core with unique, dynamic Pilates sequences. With perfect technique and masterful cueing, Laura leads you through seamlessly flowing exercises on the mat, the stability ball and the foam roller. Specifically designed to target the deep, hard-to-reach muscles of the abdominal region, this workout produces visible results after just a few sessions!