997 - Carly Simon 'No Secrets' (1972)

My Rating: 2.40 out of 5
1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die: X
Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums: X
The Mojo Collection: X

Chart Peak (UK/US): 3/1

Favourite Tracks: We Have No Secrets
Least-Favourite Track: Embrace Me You Child

I was a little disappointed by this album & I'm trying to figure out why. For a flagship recording from the peak of the singer-songwriter era, I think I was expecting well.. great singing & great songwriting but both seemed a little shaky. Her voice quite literally does waver around of course, not in the same league as Larry the Lamb or his alter-ego Boy George (well you never see them in the same room do you?) but occasionally a little too wobbly for my tastes. Likewise, the songwriting is not quite as strong as I'd anticipated; I imagined this record to be awash with intricate melodies but again it fell a little short. Perhaps it's just my high expectations that are the problem because it's not a bad record by any means. I liked the intensely-personal, 'confessional' nature of the lyrics which are a million miles away from the usual clichéd pop fodder, though the subject matter (missing a childhood friend, relationship worries) may seem a little lightweight for some. I suppose coming from such a privileged background it would have been difficult for her to sing about social inequalities or bringing down the state with any degree of sincerity. And there's a strong argument that those kind of subjects are just another set of rock clichés anyway.

Once again, I found that the final third of the album tailed off slightly but improved for the closing track. Listening to all these records in their original running order it's a pattern that I have noticed a lot already; a track's postioning says quite a lot about what the record label thought of it at the time.


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