After a period of intense creativity that produced three masterful albums -- Blue River, the then-unreleased Stages and Be True to You -- Eric Andersen missteped with his second Arista album, Sweet Surprise. He doesn't seem to have had enough time to write and craft a set of new tunes, resulting in several cover songs and relatively unfinished originals like the autobiographical "How It Goes." Andersen remains an appealing singer here, and producer Tom Sellers effectively captures a hybrid folk-rock sound with strings, as he did on Be True to You, but the heart of any singer/songwriter album is the songs, and this time they weren't there. Unfortunately, this turned out to be Andersen's last new U.S. studio album for nine years.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann