Carly Simon Bruce Harris - Essay

Bruce Harris

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

If [Carly Simon] was Carly Simon's tenth album it would have been an amazing feat. But it is only her first album, and that makes it something in the order of a miracle.

It is a rarity indeed to have an artist on her first album emerge as a totally developed talent. But Carly Simon is that rarity….

Her lyrics are pointed, searing, and honest, She writes of experiences between people, and so her songs, though deeply personal, have a painful universality to them. When she sings in Reunions of people who used to be friends trying desperately to perpetuate dead friendships, she is singing for all of us….

Carly's thinking, like her artistry, is mature. She has a lot of fire, but she also has the ability to channel that fire and make it work for her. Rather than screaming about tearing down the walls and about the blood in the streets, she sings powerfully and realistically of personal revolutions in which each individual confronts the challenges of his life on his own terms and conquers the demons of the world by first conquering the demons at home. In her hit single, That's The Way I've Always Heard It Should Be, for instance, Carly deals with the social traps that lead so many of us into lives of quiet desperation…. (p. 49)

Carly Simon is more than just another great find. She is it. Past all the hypes and the hits, Carly is the most exciting new artist we've got going these days. With a first album like this, the future looks very bright indeed. (pp. 49-50)

Bruce Harris, in his review of "Carly Simon" (© 1971 by Jazz & Pop Inc.; reprinted by permission of the author), in Jazz & Pop, Vol. 10, No. 5, May, 1971, pp. 49-50.