Carly Simon Ed Kelleher - Essay

Ed Kelleher

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[No Secrets is Carly Simon's] third try at making a good lp and it offers neither the curious changeability of the first nor the refined mediocrity of the second. But it is undeniably one of the most commercial records of the past year….

As a songwriter, Carly has a few shortcomings. Sometimes she reminds me of an overzealous Thom McAn's clerk as she shoehorns lyrics into musical position. But far more distressing is her apparent lack of anything to say. Anything very original, that is. Conventional generalities and staid value judgments abound. Her formative years must have been fraught with a whole carload of doubts and perils. The spectres of God, Daddy, the Next Door Neighbors, Girlfriends and Disapproving Relatives always seem to be lurking around the next phrase…. Now there's certainly nothing wrong with writing about the commonplace but, for God's sake, you don't have to endorse it!…

Nineteen-seventy-three will probably go down as the year of Carly Simon, which goes to prove that you don't have to go into the mousetrap business to have people beating a path to your door. Just find a producer who understands commercialism.

Ed Kelleher, in his review of "No Secrets," in Crawdaddy (copyright © 1973 by Crawdaddy Publishing Co., Inc.; all rights reserved; reprinted by permission), April. 1973, p. 77.