Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
In the Nick of Time
Genres: Country, Pop, Rock
1979 classic Re-issued on cd
1979 classic Re-issued on cd
Irresistible Nicolette--catchy, sexy, fun
Dave | United States | 02/15/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you're a big fan of that 'laidback '70s California pop-rock sound' (and who in the right mind isn't?), then the late Nicolette Larson's 1979 album "In the Nick of Time" is an album you should definitely have in your collection. This was Nicolette's follow up to her debut album, 1978's "Nicolette", and it's actually a better album, easing off of the sappy balladry & country/ western fluff that takes up a painful amount of space on "Nicolette" in favor of infectious, no-nonsense pop-rock. Although "In the Nick of Time" is a bit on the short side and has a few less-than-great tracks, it's largely a splendid album. Nicolette's fun, innocently sexy presence and her irresistible, husky vocals are on full display on a bunch of ultra-catchy tracks including a couple disco-flavored tunes with "Dancin' Jones" and "Breaking Too Many Hearts", the driving, riffy pop-rocker "Just In the Nick of Time", & "Daddy" which has a piano-and-vocal barroom-style prelude before kicking into that good ol' California sound. Also great is the breezy, feel-good ballad "Fallen", & the somewhat bossa-nova-flavored "Rio De Janeiro Blue" (which is suspiciously, and strikingly, reminiscent of Steely Dan's "Your Gold Teeth", especially with that little lick that appears at 1:56 of the track). "Back In My Arms Again", a Motown cover, isn't exactly a great song in the first place, but it's given an agreeably energetic performance. The cover of Karla Bonoff's "Isn't It Always Love" is nicely done, though it's quite similar to Karla's own version & not as strong, & the album ends in limp fashion with the dorky Little Feat cover "Trouble" which is quite annoying. The biggest hit to come from the album was the duet with Michael McDonald "Let Me Go, Love" which is a splendid, soothing ballad. As with the previous & subsequent albums, this one was produced by Ted Templeman, & it seems he & Nicolette were an ideal match. If all you have by Nicolette is her compilation CD "The Very Best of Nicolette Larson" on Rhino Records and you think it's all you need of her, think again--the only track from "In the Nick of Time" included on there is "Let Me Go, Love". Originally released in October of 1979 on Warner Bros., a big thumbs up to Wounded Bird Records for reissuing this highly recommended album on CD in February of 2005--the sound quality on this version is great. Wounded Bird commonly releases two-fers, i.e. CDs with two albums on 1 disc; it would have been perfectly logical to pair this album with her first album "Nicolette"--they would EASILY fit on a single CD--but it's still a pleasure to see that they've been re-released, and hopefully these reissues will help to introduce new listeners and remind old listeners of the numerous gems these albums contain. For any Nicolette fan, "In the Nick of Time" is unquestionably a must-have."
Nicolette's 2nd LP Very Different from First,, Still Good
Cain Farmer | Alexandria, VA | 03/08/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Right on the heels of her phenomenal first LP ["Nicolette"], and on the heels of the final single from that album ["Give a Little"], Warners released in the fall of 1979 "In the Nick of Time," Nicolette Larson's second LP in less than two years.
Although it would be hard to repeat the success of the first LP, "In the Nick of Time" is a totally different LP in style, content and vocals, and at first disappoints because its pure-pop sounds were so far astray of the wonderful mix of musical genres that made "Nicolette" a classic of sorts.
Once you get over the fact that Nicolette's 2nd LP is not anything like her first LP, though, you can appreciate "In the Nick of Time" for what it does have to offer, which is a consistent and masterful pop sound from start to finish. The ballad "Let Me Go, Love" finally returned Nicolette to the top 40, but it wasn't for long [the single peaked at about number 35 and stayed on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles for about 10 weeks or so back in 1979]; unfortunately, "Let Me Go, Love" wasn't the magic bullet that "Nicolette's" monster single "Lotta Love" was, and sales of the initially promising and fast-rising second LP "In the Nick of Time," stalled: whereas her debut LP "Nicolette" went gold, selling over a half-million copies, staying on the album charts for over 6 months [a real wonder for a new artist back then, especially a female artist] and producing four Hot 100 singles, the followup LP "In the Nick of Time" barely made a dent on any of the charts and only yielded one rather forgettable single release.
Still, commercial success or not, "Nick of Time" contains some of Nicolette's most memorable tunes: the bouncing, dance-floor-accessible "Dancin' Jones" [and there really should have been a remix of this song]; the bubble-gummish "Breaking Too Many Hearts"; the smooth sounds of ballads "Let Me Go, Love" and "Fallen"; and the quirky but ultimately fun closing ballad, "Trouble." Nicolette's covers of "Daddy," "Rio de Janeiro Blue" and the Motown classic "Back in My Arms" are all noteworthy, too, and much like her gal-pal and sometimes-mentor, Linda Ronstadt, Nicolette demonstrated once more in LP#2 that she was very skillful at making any song her own.
It's still unclear to me why "Nick of Time" deviated so much from "Nicolette" in song selection, why the second LP didn't contain any country or rock selections, which were a big part of the charm of the first LP, but maybe what critics praised about the first LP [its eclectic stylings and weaving in and out of many musical genres] is what made buyers beware in future Nicolette LPs, and maybe Warners second-guessed and betted on a public that would be more responsive to a pure pop LP, something with as few twists and surprises as possible.
Whatever the case may be, "In the Nick of Time" is a solid LP, very different from freshman "Nicolette," but after a few listens, different in a good way. The only weak cut on the second LP [and the first LP had no weak tracks] is the pseudo-rocker title tune, but even that song kind of grows on you after a while. All in all, "In the Nick of Time" delivered a fine, albeit sometimes very slick, pop package, and was far from the throw-away efforts of most artists' sophomore efforts. It had a very brief time in the sun, for sure, but "In the Nick of Time," whether you were a Nicolette fan or not, stayed in your head and on your turntable long after it exited the Billboard charts. It's a fun album, filled with some great pop songs."
Endearing from Beginning to End
Aage Nielsen | Boise, Idaho United States | 06/23/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album means enough to fans that some reviewers seem to have written Masters theses about it.
Obviously, her self titled debut is what made most of us fans, but the variety and delivery on In the Nick of Time really showed how Nicolette had staying power.
Dancin' Jones puts a smile on my face every time I hear it, setting a mood that makes it hard to leave before the entire album has played. The highlight for me though, is Rio De Janeiro Blue, which was also recorded by Randy Crawford, among others.
The album photography shows a more sophisticated side of Nicolette than what we saw on her first and later albums. I mention this only because it reflects the subtle change in style on the CD, and really shows what a lovely lady she was.
I have no affiliation with the military and have no children but I can't help but admire how she did the USO tours back then and released the childrens' album.
I hope buyers will enjoy In the Nick of Time at least half as much as I do. I consider it my favorite of her albums, with the debut coming in a close second."