Harry Nilsson

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Knnillssonn Review

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Realizing that he had nothing left to lose when he got to the end of his RCA contract, Harry Nilsson wound up recording his best, most distinctive record since Pussy Cats, maybe, Son of Schmilsson. Abandoning the very idea of a mainstream pop album is just the beginning of his conceptual coup here with Knnillssonn. Recording almost all of the sounds with keyboards and guitars, Nilsson also decided to drive the guitars into the background. In some ways, this may make it similar to A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night, but instead of being a standards record, this is all new material, written in a classical pop style and delivered in a slightly modernistic fashion. The result is an album that's out of step with its time and with the era's music in general. With its old-fashioned pop sensibility and weirdly out of sync production, plus Nilsson's trademark clever songsmithery and impish humor, Knnillssonn is a pop album like no other. It has his best set of songs in many a year, and the production is fascinating, yet at times it sounds like he's trying a little too hard. Still, there are brilliant moments, whether it's a tune as seductive as "All I Think About Is You" or the Agatha Christie murder mystery salute "Who Done It?" For all the cultists who struggled with, and at times embraced, his years of uneven records, this is their reward: an album that may only appeal to a small audience, but that satisfies their every desire about what an album from their favorite artist should be. [Originally released in 1977, Knnillssonn was reissued with bonus tracks in 2002.]

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