Maybe it's because there aren't any love songs on this that it's so uncelebrated, because this is a simply brilliant album.
"Allentown" opens things up with vital force and that continues through the first side, ending with another political song, the Vietnam lament "Goodnight Saigon", a genuine epic.
In between, you find "Pressure", which is the best rock song Joel ever recorded.
As for the second side, it's full of unexpected numbers: "Scandinavian Skies" is really intriguing, and the closer "Where's The Orchestra?" has yet another fantastic lyric to accompany a mournful melody.
If you want Joel at his warmest, buy "An Innocent Man", if you want Joel at his most melodic, buy "The Stranger", but if you want Joel at his most intelligent, buy "The Nylon Curtain". A fantastic collection of songs that bears repeated listening.