""Another Passenger" isn't one of Carly Simon's more popular albums. There's no big single (the Anita Baker-ish "Half a Chance" didn't make much of a dent on radio), it wasn't a huge seller, and it didn't even boast one of those sexy album covers she's so well known for. It is, however, one of her most impressive outings as a songwriter.The songs on "Passenger" have even more depth and character than her usual fare, if that can even be imagined. The character studies laid over the breezy calypso of "He Likes to Roll" and the saloon jazz of "Riverboat Gambler" are the work of an adept enough writer, but the biting takes on the pretentious heroine of "Dishonest Modesty" are laugh-out-loud clever ("And you can House and Garden/Vogue and Glamour, Mademoiselle/but I know you can Bitch and Screw/and Penthouse just as well"). "Fairweather Father" and "Cow Town" tell tales of modern women in less-than-perfect relationships (the former featuring an underappreciated domestic goddess and the latter featuring a gold-digger whose payoff is lucrative but lonely), and the Elton John-esque "Libby" is a touching ode to a longtime friend and kindred spirit.However, love pains from a first-person point of view have often been the subject of Simon's best work, and this record is no exception. "Darkness Til Dawn" is a touching account of coping with the end of an affair; when Simon sings "my brain won't stop showin' those old movies of you," the longing and resignation in her voice make for one of her most striking moments. And the lesser-heard masterpiece "In Times When My Head" tells a stingingly sad tale of a woman so confident in her importance to her lover that she has an indiscretion, naturally leading to guilt that breeds insecurity. The chorus features a killer hook, but with lyrics like "although that boy meant nothing to me/I believe I've lost the simple thrill/of the times when my head was together about you," it's pretty clear that this is too deep for your average FM station.The album's only less-than-necessary experience is the lightweight "One Love Stand," a pop shuffle that's agreeable enough but outclassed by the material that surrounds it. All is forgiven, though, when even the album's sole remake is a strong artistic statement: her slow-burn reading of the Doobie Brothers' "It Keeps You Runnin" is a textbook example of how to give a sultry vocal performance.Sadly, it's all too often that some of an artist's best work goes unrecognized because it's too sophisticated for the masses. But at least die-hard Carly Simon fans who dig deeper than radio hits can reap the benefits of this hidden treasure."
Not the latest or greatest, but a fine album nonetheless
J. Collins | 05/10/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The title,"Another Passenger" is ironic, in the sense that it implies a kind of anonymity just as this album failed to achieve the critical and commercial 'exposure' of Carly's earlier albums. There are other ways in which the title seems apropos...like the restrained vocals and the absence of a definitive single."Passenger" is by no means a pedestrian effort, however. I view it as a low-key song cycle that comes together in a tuneful, compelling way. El-Lay producer Templeman keeps the groove steady, and Carly turns in her best vocals in at least three years. The first three tracks are classic Carly, and she nearly steals "It Keeps You Runnin'" from Mike McDonald and the Doobies. "Cow Town" is a small stretch, in the sense that her story songs seldom hold up to repeat listens. "He Likes To Roll" is wonderfully peformed, no less endearing for the odd dancing reference. The original side one closes with one of Carly's best confessional tunes, "In Times When My Head."Side two might take fans a bit longer to appreciate: "One Love Stand" chugs along with an effective backup from Mike McDonald, then segues into a sleepy "Riverboat Gambler." "Darkness Til Dawn" features Carly in an agile vocal with terrific piano accompanying her. "Dishonest Modesty" is an oddity....Carly is seldom this plain-spoken or crude. This is quickly remedied by "Libby," a graceful ode to friendship and escape. The too-short closer, "Be With Me," is a little known gem that seems to pre-figure the Top 40 success of "You're So Vain," with it's gentle, impassioned vocal and acoustic guitar.This is really an album for Carly's fans, considering the absence of hits or Pop ready-mades. But the intimacy and sublety of "Another Passenger" is compelling for those of us who liked Carly better as an artist than as a "personality."-Mic"
Carly's Best Release at Elektra
J. Collins | 10/12/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A very overlooked release. Does anyone detect a recurring theme here? Quite a departure for Carly, Ted Templeman produced, and she got a lot of help from the Doobie Brothers, Little Feat, & Linda Ronstadt. This should of fit right in with the rest of the mid-70s releases of the Eagles, and the aforementioned artists. Her version of IT KEEPS YOU RUNNIN' is almost better than the Doobies version. IN TIMES WHEN MY HEAD is probably her best ballad, and when people think of Carly's style, this song is what people hear in their mind. HALF A CHANCE and ONE LOVE STAND should of been big radio hits, but alas, nothing made the top 40 from this release. FAIRWEATHER FATHER is a precursor of her songs about JT. DISHONEST MODESTY could also be about her problems with her marriage. DARKNESS 'TIL DAWN & COW TOWN are just straight-ahead gorgeous songs, but RIVERBOAT GAMBLER is probably her must lush arrangement. LIBBY is a personal song to her friend. Every single track on this album is great. I'ts unfortunate that this is her weakest selling release, she should of stayed with Ted Templeman, but the sales for her next 2 releases show she made the right move. Carly, you're the best!"
An intelligent, fun, witty, sexy, emotional album
J. Collins | 05/25/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What else would you expect from Carly Simon? Actually, this is even better than most of her other albums. It is like a collection of short stories - some that are probably autobiographical, some that seem fanciful - set to wonderful, very memorable melodies. The vocals are stunning, and range from the soft and sweet Be With Me, to the howling mock-country of Cowtown, and the emotional rollercoaster that is In Times When My Head. Her cover version of the Doobie Brothers' It Keeps You Runnin' is also something to behold. Apart from the superior selection of (mostly original) songs and the great vocals, one distinctive feature of this album is that the production is sparse and focused squarely on Carly. If you like The Bedroom Tapes, and are looking for more, this is probably your best bet."
"Carly Simon is an awesome recording artist and performer. As a singer, she possesses one of the most emotive, alluring voices in popular music. As a songwriter, she is adept, smart, witty, serious and fun. All of this is brought together on the magnificent "Another Passenger".
Released in mid-1976, when Carly was at the height of her initial fame and 70's influence, "Another Passenger" did not become one of her big hit albums. This is an unfortunate fact of musical history because "Another Passenger" is a masterpiece.
It's all here in a broad, musical diarama: stories of love and love-lost and inter-personal relationships interestingly and excitingly presented by a captivating artist. For on "Another Passenger", Carly Simon created some of her best, albeit lesser-known, songs: the punchy, countrified "Cow Town" about a marriage between two people with almost absolutely nothing in common; the infectious calypso of the fun "He Likes To Roll"; the confessional "In Times When My Head", a fantastic song about losing one's cool when guilt weighs down; the enchanting "Riverboat Gambler"; the chiding "Fairweather Father"; the Van Dyke Parks keyboard-driven "Darkness Til Dawn", a real song about hope and getting through that very difficult break-up; the catchy pop hooks of "Half A Chance"; the taunting accusations of the piquant "Dishonest Modesty" done up in an appropriately down-homey way; and "Libby", a glorious rock-ballad and poetic gem about love and friendship.
The songs on this album also contain some of Carly's most memorable lyrics. Simply stated, each song tells its own story without being overly wrought. Here are some examples of her poetic finery:
-"There are always times when your legs feel broken/but you still don't drop out of the dance" (from "Half A Chance") -"I pick your pockets hoping to find/Something to hurt about to prove you unkind" (from "In Times When My Head") -"Folks walking in the street/Everyone has something to do/My brain won't stop showing/Those old movies of you" (from "Darkness Til Dawn) -"You can House & Garden/Vogue & Glamour, Mademoiselle/But I know you can Bitch & Screw/And Penthouse as well (from "Dishonest Modesty")
Carly adds here to her own fantastic songwriting a Doobie Brothers-backed version of their "It Keeps You Running". It's steamy and sultry to the max. She closes this engaging set of finely-crafted songs with a sweet little ditty, "Be With Me". Who wouldn't want to?"