Nested was Laura Nyro's second studio album of new original material to be released after her career hiatus of the first half of the 1970s, following 1976's Smile. Like that predecessor, it was a more restrained affair, musically and lyrically, than some of her more intense efforts of the late '60s, such as New York Tendaberry. In fact, such catchy soul-pop songs as "Rhythm & Blues" and "The Sweet Sky" sounded almost as if they could have appeared on her 1967 debut album More Than a New Discovery and been covered for hits. But Nyro's highly personal perspective was also on display on the record, starting with the lead-off track, "Mr. Blue (The Song of Communications)," an account of an attempt to re-establish relations with a lover, in which she paused to speak quoted dialogue from him to her: "I've heard of liberation but sweetheart -- you're in outer space," and "you can be so arrogant, and you don't know anything about being cool." In "American Dreamer," she turned from her personal life to her professional life, apparently recalling the early business deal that resulted in a former manager ending up with half the proceeds from her song publishing royalties. The chorus, another quoted passage, goes "There's nothing we can do/we could not get there in time/It's too late -- /she signed on the dotted line." But the overwhelming theme of the album, as its title suggested, concerned Nyro's pregnancy. In "Crazy Love," sung with only her own piano accompaniment, she first referred to her "unborn star," and by the album's close with "Child in a Universe" and "The Nest," impending childbirth had become a major concern. As such, Nested could be viewed as the next installment in Nyro's allusive musical autobiography.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann