Laura Nyro was 20 when she recorded this, her second album. With Columbia offering greater artistic freedom than her previous label, Nyro holed up in the studio, where she stitched together song fragments into a brocade of jazz- and soul-influenced pop music. When she multi-tracks her vocals during more extroverted fare like “Eli’s Coming” and “Stoned Soul Picnic,” you can picture her, as a teenager, singing in harmony groups on the streets of New York; when the volume dips and the tempo slows, as on “Lonely Woman” and “Boudoir,” you can imagine Nyro gazing out over the city in the wee small hours of the morning. Compared to my original U.S. pressing of Eli, this remastered 180-gram vinyl, cut from the original stereo tapes by Ryan Smith at Sterling Sound and pressed and plated at RTI, does a better job of delivering both sides of Laura Nyro. With a full band behind her, the remastered wax offers more detail and separation. Even better are the quiet parts, where a black noise floor and more full and vivid sound draw you in, especially when Nyro’s sexy, soulful voice leaves the speakers.