Carole King's first official solo album and her fourth album, both of which were originally on Ode Records (A&M in England), make an interesting pairing on this European CD release, which combines both on one disc. Writer (1970) dated from the time before King found her defining sound, and is dominated by Danny "Kootch" Kortchmar's electric and acoustic guitars, as well as King's singing, while Rhymes and Reasons (1972) presents King in the midst of her singer/songwriter period, her piano a dominant instrument along with her voice and lyrics. The Writer material is the most diverse, encompassing songs in hard rock, folk, soul, and even country idioms; Rhymes and Reasons, by contrast, marked the end of King's direct stylistic offshoots from Tapestry -- either way, it's all stuff that will delight those filling in her library. One only wishes that the music had been remastered as well (Sony Music has only ever seen fit to upgrade the sound on Tapestry), but neither is bad in the fidelity department, and it's all still a pleasing, occasionally dazzling, body of music.
AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder