This Kind Of Love

Carly Simon

While it is certainly wonderful to see Carly Simon release her first new collection of self-penned songs in eight years, This Kind Of Love features tunes influenced to the extreme by Brazilian music. Relying heavily on various percussion instruments expertly played by Rock Marotta, Peter Gabriel mate, acoustic guitars and a heavy string-salsa treatment, these 13 songs are interesting considering Ms. Simon’s past oeuvre. Some might even come away disappointed in not only the style of the CD, but in the ‘sameness’ of the sound. But with a talent as big as Carly Simon, one need not worry too much.

“So Many People To Love,” the lyrically superlative “They Just Want You To Be There,” and the finale “Too Soon To Say Goodbye” show Carly Simon as a musical force still to be reckoned with. Beyond the songwriting and occasional over-the-top production, what I like most about the album is the sound of Simon’s voice. She ventures into some very uncharacteristic places with what’s been hailed as one of the best female voices in popular music. On “Hold Out Your Heart,” Simon sings in a lilting tone, at times sounding so breathy she borders on cracking, and this vulnerability works for perfectly for such a heartfelt ditty. On the aforementioned “So Many People To Love,” my fav, she purposely sings off-key in places, a technique not many singers of this day and age would risk. But again, this is one woman who knows exactly what she is doing, when to do it and why.

“People Say A Lot” and “Island” are a bit lackluster. While they fit in with this collection stylistically, they are a bit long, especially former with its odd quasi-rap thing happening, an odd fit for Carly Simon to be sure (though I have to say the lyric is interesting). This a minor hurtle to what is a well-produced disc. I guess what it all comes down to is — Carly Simon hasn’t released a new CD of self-penned songs in eight years. This is that CD, the one Carly Simon fans have been waiting for and I am sure none will be disappointed all that much. Following in the footsteps of Paul McCartney, Joni Mitchell and ex-hubby James Taylor, This Kind Of Love is being released through Starbuck’s Hear Music. So have a Chi Venti Whip Latte and enjoy.

~ Ralph Greco, Jr.

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