This is a compliment. The greatest hits are very nice with love song after love song, and the familiar piano verse and dramatic orchestra filled crescendo of the choruses. Here, there are songs that show another dimension to Manilow's songwriting he would lose when he became more romantic balladeering later. 'Sandra' is a fantastic song, with a gorgeous melody that builds without the cleches and has some lyrics about a housewife who is contemplating suicide. A gut wrenching performance. 'Home again' is also beautiful and deep. The melody is instantly likeable. 'The two of us' is extremely introspective and a third excellent stripped down ballad. Other excellent tracks are here including the upbeat 'somebody's baby', very catchy.
It's not all roses, as the awful 'Avenue C' proves, but is an excellent album nonetheless.