Most helpful critical review
22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
A good album, though Ben's arrangement was amatuerish at times
on November 1, 2009
This album is, largely, good. I've been a Carly fan since her first album in 1971. Yes, her voice isn't as strong as it once was, but, overall at 64, it's damn good! The two major disappointments here are "It Happens Everyday" and "You're So Vain," which are both terribly flawed by hokey background vocals by Carly and others. In "Everyday," that happens to be Carly screeching something about girls packing their suitcases to live in friends' SoHo apartments. It's like a fingernail on a chalkboard. And her son's hokey and poor arrangement, with background vocals repeating "give it to the girls" is laughable and, together, these flaws ruin a song I believe is one of Carly's best from "Hello Big Man." The other real disappointment is "You're So Vain," again flawed by a hokey background vocal about "I need more cow milk." Just hokey, cheap and sounding like it was recorded in a garage. Come on, Ben and Carly, you can do much, much better! Because Carly has distinguished herself from her contemporaries and the motley crew of sleazy songstresses of today, I guess we expect more from her, which may be unfair.
The new songs are good, "Ain't No Freedom" and "Songbird." I wonder when "Ain't" was wrtten. The first part of "Songbird" is obviously a demo recording from '70 or '71, and the second part is Carly recording anew. It works well. I think the two best cuts are "Never Been Gone," and "Let the River Run." Both are beautiful. Carly's voice sounds strong and the melodies are beautiful. "That's The Way I've Always Heard It Should Be" and "Anticipation" are both very good and, IMHO, more upbeat than the orginals, though I love the originals. All in all a good album, flawed by a couple of really hokey, stupid arrangements, that stick out like sore thumbs and cast a negative influence on the entire album. Too bad, because otherwise this could have been a four-star or even five-star IMHO. Looking forward to some new Carly material which, I hope, isn't flawed by any future hokey arrangement.