With her marriage on the rocks and looking for a fresh start, Carole King moved to Los Angeles in 1967. More specifically, Laurel Canyon, where she fell in with the nascent singer/songwriter crowd. She and bassist/boyfriend Charles Larkey (formerly of the Myddle Class, a band she and then-husband Gerry Goffin had signed to their record label) soon formed a band, adding old friend from NYC, guitarist Danny Kortchmar. The trio spent time at King's house working on a batch of songs she had written with Goffin (some previously released by other acts, some not), plus some co-written by another member of Myddle Class, Don Palmer, and fellow Brill Building refugee Toni Stern. Thanks to their industry connections it wasn't long before they had a record deal. Adding drummer Jim Gordon and naming themselves the City, they hit the studio with Lou Adler producing. The outcome of the sessions was the thoroughly charming Now That Everything's Been Said LP. Released in 1968 on Ode Records, the album had one foot in the kind of radio pop bands like the Monkees and the Mamas & the Papas were cranking out and another in the earthy, homegrown realm of singer/songwriters like Joni Mitchell and, a few years later, King herself. The songs are unsurprisingly strong, a fact borne out by how many of them were picked up by other groups (American Spring covered the title track, the Monkees did "Man Without a Dream," Blood, Sweat & Tears had a hit with "Hi-De-Ho (That Old Sweet Roll)," and the Byrds' version of "Wasn’t Born to Follow" memorably appeared on the Easy Rider soundtrack.) The group is obviously a very talented batch of musicians, while Larkey's melodic basslines provide a beating heart to many of the songs, and Kortchmar shades things in around the edges with subtle fills. King's piano playing isn't as up front as on her solo work, which isn't surprising since this was truly a band effort. Her wonderfully honest and crookedly real-sounding vocals are the star of the album, though. She's never been accused of being a great singer, but she's a hell of a vocalist, able to break a heart without trying very hard at all. Songs like "Wasn't Born to Follow" or the truly lovely chamber pop ballad "Snow Queen" certainly don't suffer from having a less-than-spectacular vocalist out front -- King is able to wrench all the emotions she can out of them with her expressive amateurism. Her duets with Kortchmar on a couple tracks are nice enough, too, that you wonder why they didn't do it more often. The strength of the songs plus the care and thought that went into the music make the album a stirring success. While King went on to hit far greater heights commercially, and Tapestry is an unqualified stroke of genius, she rarely made an album as strong from beginning to end as Now That Everything's Been Said.
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AllMusic Review by Tim Sendra