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CARLY SIMON—HAVE YOU SEEN ME LATELY? * LETTERS NEVER SENT (Floating World)

http://www.floatingworldrecords.co.uk

http://carlysimon.com

Originally released in 1990 and 1994, respectively, the music found on this twin-cd set is a good representation of American adult radio listening of the time. Though not exactly pop music of the day Simon’s classy vocals and involved arrangements demonstrate the power of her work (both vocally and lyrically) as the lady and those in tow compliment one another. 

 

Simon’s quality vocals ensure the listener is in for an easy, if at times a less than thrilling ride. With some of the negativity out of the way I now offer the positives. First you have the album, Have You Seen Me Lately? With the excellent, impassioned “Better Not Tell” the opener the listener is served a slice of vintage Carly Simon! Followed by the tender, piano warmed likewise impressive “Didn’t I” as things start away good. Only from then on the album tends to be patchy. You could argue I am guilty of setting her too high a benchmark, then again its one Simon herself set a few years earlier. “Life Is Eternal” like most songs on the album it comes with a full production, but it rises above this. And with fleeting moments of magic littered less liberally I found myself struggling to pick out genuine highlights. Albeit as just noted there is snatches of her incredible vocals occasionally captured on “Don’t Wrap It Up” and sombre “We Just Got Here” plus stripped down, interestingly worded “It’s Not Like Him”. All of which are well worth a closer listen.

 

Letters Never Sent is a mixture of joy and sadness as she speaks of losing her mother, and the aftermath on moving ballad “Like A River”. “Touched By The Sun” is a dramatic affair, likewise can be said of the interesting and varied production given to “Halfway ‘Round The World”. Warmed in harmony vocals, harmonica (Taj Mahal) and synthesiser plus guitar and percussion it is a royal mix. “The Reason” focuses more on her wonderful, pure vocals as she enjoys some cheery harmony vocals, and thankfully a more sympathetic production than on some songs. As her vocals are allowed more room to breathe.   

On the tender side Simon is joined by Andreas Vollenweider on “Davy” and when Simon performs the beautiful, acoustic tune “I’d Rather It Was You”. Nestled among it all is a cameo, stripped down piece performed by her son Ben Taylor via “Time Works On All The Wild Young Men”. If only the record contained more of Taylor, and better still Simon and him sing something together.   

 

                                                                                               Maurice Hope

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May 2018

1
John Prine
67 pts.
The Tree of Forgiveness
Oh Boy Records
JJC,MB,SP,RM
2
Levi Parham
58 pts.
It's All Good
Continental Records
CRS,JB,TK
3
Jeb Barry and the Pawn Shop Saints
55 pts.
Texas, etc...
DollyRocker
HDB,CVL,DHO
4
Michael McDermott
54 pts.
Out From Under
Continental Song City
JDO,LK,BK
5
Sam Morrow
48 pts.
Concrete and Mud
Forty Below Records
MA,JBO,HB
6
Caleb Caudle
39 pts.
Crushed Coins
Cornelius Chapel Records
 
7
Western Centuries
36 pts.
Songs From The Deluge
Free Dirt Records
MF
8
Carter Sampson
34 pts.
Lucky
Continental Song City
 
9
Charley Crockett
30 pts.
Lonesome as a Shadow
Son of Davy/30 Tigers
 
10
Courtney Marie Andrews
28 pts.
May Your Kindness Remain
Loose Music
JV
11
Ed Romanoff
27 pts.
The Orphan King
Pinerock Records
 
 
Joan Baez
27 pts.
Whistle Down The Wind
Proper Records
HD
 
Pharis and Jason Romero
27 pts.
Sweet Old Religion
Lula Records
SZ,LM
14
Gretchen Peters
24 pts.
Dancing With The Beast
Proper Records
KG
 
Old Crow Medicine Show
24 pts.
Volunteer
Columbia Records
GF
 
Will Stewart
24 pts.
County Seat
Cornelius Chapel Records
 
17
Ben Reel
22 pts.
Land Of Escape
B REEL Records
GC,FC
 
Birds Of Chicago
22 pts.
Love In Wartime
Signature Sounds
 
 
Emily Herring
22 pts.
Gliding
Eight 30 Records
RST,RH
20
Jenny van West
21 pts.
Happiness To Burn
Independent
PJ,FS,JJ
 
Mary Gauthier
21 pts.
Rifles And Rosary Beads
In the Black Records
 
22
Sarah Shook & The Disarmers
20 pts.
Years
Bloodshot Records
FCE
23
David Starr
19 pts.
South And East
Independent
HM
24
Cold Tone Harvest
18 pts.
After You
Independent
 
25
Grant Peeples
17 pts.
Settling Scores vol. 2
Continental

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