I know generally record companies don't give anything away for free, but the rerelease of this 1970 album is certainly a gift for what has to be a small audience: Thank you, Buddha (Records)! What we have here must be one of the most historic matchups of talented songwriters, Harry Nilsson, who up until then had a big hit single with someone else's song (Fred Neil's "Everybody's Talkin'" from "Midnight Cowboy"), and three critically admired but poor-selling albums, and Randy Newman, yet to score even a major hit as a songwriter ('least he was on Warner Bros., a label that respected his talent, more than you can say for Harry's RCA deal)...So, as the publicity goes, it really was a brave thing to undertake this very low-key collection, mainly pared down to Randy's piano and Harry's lovely voice. Listening to it reminds me of attending a recital of art songs (and, you should turn this one up loud for full intimate effect, I think). For the most part, Harry has chosen the "nice-guy" (from the liner notes) songs from Randy's repertoire (the one exception, "Yellow Man," does sound better coming from Randy's ironic pipes), and they are simple songs that sparingly sketch out his scenarios of nostalgia ("Dayton, Ohio 1903," "Vine St."), loss/regret ("Living Without You," "So Long Dad"), and hey, even Love. Fans of Randy Newman will be intrigued by comparing the different versions both singers have laid down ('frinstance, I like Randy's version of "Love Story" much better than Harry's, no shame there though). Also impressive is that even with the spare instrumentation all around, Harry worked laboriously on multi-tracking his voice so that the results are fairly gorgeous, and the small flourishes (like the mallet keyboards on "Caroline") say so much with so little. Also (again!), it's fascinating to me that interspersed amongst the crystal clear production and the smooth vocals is Randy and Harry chatting--studio patter! (At the end of "Snow," I believe, Randy says "Bad ending I played." "Yeah, I know...") Makes it all that more intimate--there! Have I convinced you to go out and get this? For those pop lovers with a taste for something unique, I don't think you can go wrong with this, especially if you have even the slightest interest in these two artists.