Amazing opening to a wonderful album
At a time when the aim of so much rock music was to make it louder and louder, often to the point of being utterly bombastic, Laura Nyro's often overlooked "Christmas and the Beads of Sweat" stands as a wonderful counterpoint. The whole aim of this album seems to be to produce deep emotion whilst achieving extremely soft textures, and "Brown Earth" achieve this in a manner that has always set a standard difficult to achievie in an age of ear-spitting amplification.
The song's peace-and-love lyrical theme, moreover, is utterly heartfelt and Laura's vocal delivery never falls flat for a moment from the beautiful opening depiction of a quiet rural marketplace. Even when she almost whispers, there is a ball of energy present, and theelectric guitar, bass and drums fit her mood very well. In contrast, Stu Sharif's dreamy acoustic guitar anticipates Robin Guthrie by almost fifteen years.
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