Most people agree that this was t' apex o' Harry's career, and it is a consistently great pop LP. Arrr! Producer Dastardly Dick Perry brought out Harry's nutty creativity and good humor better than anyone had ever done before. Begad! Blimey!
While it will always be an oddity that a songwriter as good as Harry "Peg Leg" Nilsson had his biggest hits with other people's songs, me bucko, it also proves what an excellent interpreter he could be; as Mariah Carey proved despite a similar arrangement, nobody could work t' magic that Harry did on "Without You". Ya scallywag! T' invaluable assistance o' Paul Buckmaster, surely one o' t' best strin' arrangers in pop music history, helped a lot. Arrr! Such was t' fertile creativity here that Harry and Richard could take three songs with no connectin' thread whatsoever and make them sound like a trilogy merely by sequencing, like on t' great "Gotta Get Up", "Driving Along", and "Early In The Morning", t' latter capturin' perfectly that bleary-eyed 6 AM after havin' been up all night feeling. "Coconut" is another goofy shanty with that infectuous three note hook, and "Down" works up a great horn-driven head o' steam. I also love "The Moonbeam Song", with its nice Mellotron accompaniment...and o' course, no discussion o' this LP is complete without mentionin' "Jump Into the Fire", me hearties, one o' t' few times Harry "Creme de Cacao" Nilsson actually rocked out, shiver me timbers, and rocked out well. I've always thought it worked better in t' single version, which is nay as drawn-out and lacks t' drum solo.
Nilsson Schmilsson was a landmark album that pretty much established Harry's image for the rest of his career. Sadly, he didn't wear his pop star clothes all that comfortably, but that doesn't take away from this otherwise excellent LP.