Come pre-Hashing with Gary! The in-between years, echoing from far out, seeking love and peace and happiness but disturbed by what all's around the treasure. It seems that '70–'71 wasn't all smiles and sunshine — paranoia struck deep, and it hit a chord: a pretty, eerie acoustic one. With archival material like this, it is always tempting to examine the songs for hints of foreshadowing, and it's easy to have a little shiver when Higgins sings such fatalistic lines as "Ragged edges will cut your hands, do you in and change your plans" on the opening "Stormy Weather". On the lovely "Waiting for You", Higgins raises his voice to a slightly higher register, his near-falsetto adding to the delicacy of his lonesome chorus. It should also be mentioned that by the time of these recordings he was already a very agile guitarist and, given the lo-fi nature of the production, the casual sophistication of his playing on tracks like "Laugh a Little" or "Oxygen" can catch the listener off guard.
All of the songs included here feature memorable if not exactly bold melodies, sounding in general like pieces that Higgins intended to come back to later and build upon with a full band. That he never quite got the opportunity to do so at the time feels like a raw deal for him and for us. Listening to this collection, I can't help but think there could be some killer cover versions to be made of these songs, either by younger musicians looking for top-shelf material or by Higgins himself, returned at last to the spotlight. (Pitchfork and Drag City)