RRR #1: Carly Simon - THE BEST OF...

I told you these reviews would be random! This is my first Random Review Request (or RRR, for short). I'll try to hit at least one per month. Today's lucky reader is a fellow by the name of Nick. He's like a father to me. Technically speaking, he is my father, which explains a lot. If this review is any indication, I think I know where my randomness came from. Why Carly Simon? I don't know. I have a broad taste in music myself. Maybe not this broad, but I can listen to anything from Emperor to Dave Matthews Band. I remember listening to this greatest hits compilation quite a bit as a wee geek. Bear in mind, my dad typically enjoys classic rock. Everyone needs to chill out once in awhile, I suppose.

When it comes to female singer/songwriters in this vein (pun intended?), I prefer Roberta Flack. Flack's back catalogue was also spun frequently in the Coccaro household. The only things I associated with Carly Simon were the clouds in her coffee and the sheer size of her mouth. Wowzers! Listening to it now, this CD shows itself to be ideal background music. It's not too aggressive, but it's not lethargic either. You won't fall asleep at the keyboard/desktop listening to it. The ballads are potent and relaxing. Obviously, it's hard for me to relate to the musings of a young woman from the 1970's, which is why I wouldn't go out and buy a Carly Simon album. No offense, Carly. I'm sure you're reading.

"That's the Way I've Always Heard it Should Be" is a solemn love song with dark melodies wrapping themselves around the verses. There isn't much to this one, but if I had to pick a favorite track, this would be it. It's pithy and effective. "Mockingbird" is a duet with James Taylor made famous by Dumb and Dumber. It makes me want to blow my fucking brains out. Sorry, but this little ditty vexes me to no end. Thankfully, a couple of interesting numbers follow in "Legend in Your Own Time" and "Haven't Got Time For the Pain." "Legend," in particular, benefits from tribal percussion and acoustic guitars. Simon is at her best when she takes advantage of more than one instrument.

Everyone is familiar with "You're So Vain." I'm fairly certain that it was written about me. I don't have an objective opinion on it because I've heard it so many times. It's a song. On the subject of objectivity, I can't assign an objective rating to this best-of analect. It's so far removed from my scope of journalism, that I wouldn't know how to rate it. The songs are memorable. I can safely say that Carly Simon knows how to write a hit, but I'm not fond of her voice. She isn't the most versatile singer in the world, and much of her early output has a stock "sameness" to it. It's hard to review. I did what I could, Dad!


  1. I too have broad musical tastes, so much so that sometimes my friends just dont get it.

    Ive seen a couple of Carly Simons performances on tv (I think I cought her on SNL once) and thought Ive never bought one of her records, I do find her voice relaxing and soothing.

    Kind of reminds me of Sheryl Crow on her first album Tuesday Night Music Club.

  2. Wow something out of the blue. Only thing I've heard from Roberta Flack is Killing me Softly and I prefer her version out of all of them. For Carly Simon I've only heard and only own 2 songs- you're so vain and Don't it make your brown eyes blue. You're right on her not having a drop dead voice, and it's easy to picture her singing in a bar setting with clouds of smoke, but there is something seductive about some of her songs.