The cover of Carly Simon's enjoyable new album is an indication of its best songs, which celebrate the body at play. Playing Possum represents a breakthrough of sorts for Simon. Earlier albums, through Hotcakes, depicted adolescent and postadolescent growing pains, family relationships and especially an aching romantic ardor. Simon's new, bolder stance was probably inevitable—it's certainly welcome—since her previous four albums have defined a slow but steady movement away from the "sensitive singer/songwriter" role toward that of "rock" songstress….
With Playing Possum, Simon has largely abandoned plaintive balladeering for a blunt style that means to be aggressively sexy....
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