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Monday, June 30, 2008

Carly Simon's This Kind of Love

NEW RELEASE: In stores now


Something Old, Something New - Does it Work?

I feel about Carly Simon the way Zoolander's "Hansel" felt about Sting: I don't really listen much to her music, but I respect the fact that she's still making it. (Having been raised on the music of great singer-songwriters, I have a natural affinity for the blue-collar, Everyman Genre of folk and Americana.)

Carly Simon's new album, "This Kind of Love," is an ambitious attempt at re-invention.
Here, she changes up her celebrated sound in an overt attempt to remain relevant...

What of the Past? - Simon spends about half of this record trying to sound like her old self (in an attempt to satisfy and retain her cornerstone listeners.) On these songs, the New Carly just doesn't quite measure up... (I prepared for this post by recalling some of her greatest hits. While Simon can still sing in that hot toddy voice - these songs don't serve her well.)

A Major Change of Pace - The other half of the album: Unexpectedly, it's a collaborative excursion into the steamy world of Brazilian music... The liner notes for "This Kind of Love" explain Simon's odd deviation via a confusing and hard-to-follow story about a gaucho who takes up carving. It's an unsatisfying explanation to say the least. While this music on these songs is vibrant - a real shot in the arm to the album; Simon's vocals and lyrics are lackluster and cliché. (The problem with these songs is Carly - not the backing musicians.)

I listened to the songs enthusiastically but still found the album disappointing. I had hoped that Carly Simon would find a way place herself amongst her accomplished classic peers. Whereas Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, James Taylor, Elvis Costello and Carole King (amongst others) have found success building bridges between their honored past and their new musical lives... This is where Carly Simon falls flat.

Even with the musical assistance on the album from her two talented children: Ben and Sally Taylor, and even with the aid of all those great ethnic beats imported on this record - the majority of "This Kind of Love" would be best left as ambient background tunes for your hip, single aunt's cocktail party.


OUR FAVORITE TRACK:
A Worthy Song from "This Kind of Love"

Carly Simon - People Say a Lot

1 comment:

March to the Sea said...

fantastic interview w/her on Stern last week..i mean A+ stuff.