Carly Simon Peter Reilly - Essay

Peter Reilly

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Carly Simon's back, smarter, more ironically perceptive, and more engaging than ever…. ["Another Passenger"] is another totally classy job from a foxy lady who not only knows where it's all at, but doesn't mind letting you know, in an offhand way, that her pearls of wisdom have cost her a pretty penny or two in the purchase…. In Times When My Head [is not] precisely about staying cool at all costs:… [it] is as good a description of self-destructive jealousy as one would really care to hear about. This ability to deal honestly and directly with emotional life has always been one of Carly's major strengths, and it permeates all her songs here. (pp. 88-9)

Carly Simon, chansons à clef and all, is a grown-up joy to have around. Over the past couple of years she's been recording observed scenes from her life, and this latest collection is as filled with insight, humor, truthfulness, and, yes, modesty as was the early literary work of Mary McCarthy. The nicest thing about her is that her laser-beam eye and rifle-mike ear are both softened by a civilized disinclination to judge. But oh my, what a witness! (p. 89)

Peter Reilly, "The Laser-Beam Eye and Rifle-Mike Ear of the Engaging Carly Simon," in Stereo Review (copyright © 1976 by Ziff-Davis Publishing Company), Vol. 37, No. 5, November, 1976, pp. 88-9.