Rolling Stone (11/11/71, p.54) - "...with CAHOOTS, I have no compunction in saying that the Band is one of the few functioning units in rock worthy of the name auteurs..."
Rolling Stone (8/31/00, pp.69-73) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...The added demo of 'Don't Do it' - a funky butt-kicking of Marvin Gaye's 'Baby Don't You Do It' - beats nearly everything on the original LP..."
Entertainment Weekly (9/1/00, p.81) - "...These remasterings sound incredibly rich, and each has alternate takes....this is reissuing done right." - Rating: B-
Q (10/00, p.139) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...Anything containing 'Life Is A Carnival', mind, can't be all bad....Remastered, properly annotated, plus bonus tracks....there's been no better time to get re-acquainted with this quintessential American music..."
No Depression (9-10/00, pp.102-3) - "...Benefits from the remastering job....as it is sweetened with an unreleased version of 'Endless Highway'....gratifying..."
Mojo (Publisher) (10/00, p.126) - "...Improves on the original digital transfers, clarifying significant details without homogenizing the overall sound. The addition of bonus tracks, of varying interest, will please some..."
The Band's fourth album, from 1971, shows the strains which accompanied its recording, and in fact continued to unravel the group over the next five years. Much anticipated upon its release, it can now be appreciated as the fragmented work that it is. Having set impossibly high standards with their previous releases, they were bound to teeter, and they did. But even when falling short of their masterpieces MUSIC FROM BIG PINK and THE BAND, they are still a powerful force to be reckoned with, and CAHOOTS yields its share of rewards.
"Life Is A Carnival" began their association with Allen Toussaint--his horn arrangements led to a full-blown collaboration on the live ROCK OF AGES the following year--and the result is a burbling piece of funky country pop. Bob Dylan's "When I Paint My Masterpiece" is premiered here (Dylan later released his version on his GREATEST HITS VOLUME II) with a lovely accordion and mandolin arrangement. Other highlights include the Richard Manuel-Van Morrison duet on "4% Pantomime" and one of their most overlooked songs, the hauntingly beautiful "The Moon Struck One." CAHOOTS lacks the consistency of the Band's best work, but is still a fine effort by one of the era's most influential bands.