Not unlike Joni Mitchell's recent work, The Bedroom Tapes finds Carly Simon facing the modern world with a certain bemusement. She's not as cranky as Mitchell about the things she sees; in fact, she doesn't quite seem to k... more »now what to think about such phenomena as the Internet ("Big Dumb Guy"). There's some wit on display here; "We Your Dearest Friends" is a cutting song about social politics, while "Actress" may be a sly acknowledgment of Simon's famous stage fright. Despite her obvious smarts, though, Bedroom has the distinct feel of the work of someone who's going through the motions. Grown-up rock doesn't have to be so staid. --Bob Roget« less
Not unlike Joni Mitchell's recent work, The Bedroom Tapes finds Carly Simon facing the modern world with a certain bemusement. She's not as cranky as Mitchell about the things she sees; in fact, she doesn't quite seem to know what to think about such phenomena as the Internet ("Big Dumb Guy"). There's some wit on display here; "We Your Dearest Friends" is a cutting song about social politics, while "Actress" may be a sly acknowledgment of Simon's famous stage fright. Despite her obvious smarts, though, Bedroom has the distinct feel of the work of someone who's going through the motions. Grown-up rock doesn't have to be so staid. --Bob Roget
"This is Carly Simon's best pop album in many a year. Perhaps the reason Carly is not acknowledged as a "rock and roll legend" is because of her dual career with earlier albums like the immediate predecessor "Film Noir" or "My Romance" and "Torch."This diversity keeps many from being big fans, I feel. As others have said, her voice is better than it's ever been. Her music is solid and fantastic. Her lyrics are insightful and clever as always.Best tracks muscially: "Our Affair," "So Many Stars," "Actress," "We Your Dearest Friends."Best tracks lyrically: "So Many Stars," "Big Dumb Guy," "Scar," "Cross the River," "Actress," "We Your Dearest Friends."Songs I could do without if I had to leave some: "I Forget," "Whatever Became of Her," "In Honor of You (George)." (After several listenings, I can't even play these in my head).This CD is much better than expected. It's better than 1994's "Letters Never Sent" or even such commercial favorites as "Coming Around Again," in my opinion.It's her best work since the early '80s. I am surprised, pleased, and not at all embarrassed to be a very big fan.She's come a long way since "They're puttin' out too many phonograph records/I think I'm gonna have a baby." Now she just wants to kick away her mouse pad and greet a "big dumb guy."The emotional insecurity of her early work is thankfully absent, as is the overt eroticism we have seen from her."The Bedroom Tapes" (a reference to the empty-nested daughter bedroom where she wrote the songs) as a title is a playful acknowledgment of her sexy image, no doubt, but she's toned it down, while keeping it romantic in nature.All in all, this is a Carly Simon must for long-time fans and a pretty good listen for even the casual music fan. This should be a nice comeback saleswise. Out of the box (debuting Billboard #90), to this end it's looking promising."
Carly At Her Most Thought Provoking..........And Challenging
Jef Fazekas | Newport Beach, California United States | 06/02/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Is "The Bedroom Tapes" one of Carly Simon's best albums? No. Is it one of her most important? Without a doubt. After just a listen or two, it's very clear that this is an album Carly had to make. While this CD is lacking the smoothness, fullness and sense of continuity of 1990's "Have You Seen Me Lately?" and 1994's "Letters Never Sent" (two albums that, in my opinion, represent the perfect blend of Carly's roots and all she's learned over the last thirty years), there is a sense of daring and honesty to "The Basement Tapes". Carly has never sounded more naked or raw. While there's been a lot of talk about Carly's breast cancer and writer's block, "Tapes" also comes across as a work from an artist who's standing on the edge, wanting - and needing - to push the envelope. So what works on "The Bedroom Tapes"? Well, there's "Our Affair", the CD's sly, sultry opening track which, in a perfect world, would be Carly's next smash hit. Then there's the wistful "So Many Stars" and the spunky "Actress". And we can't forget the percolating "Cross The River", on which Carly almost - gasp! - raps! Finally, there's the powerful "Scar" and "We Your Dearest Friends", a song that will probably get tongues wagging more than they have since "You're So Vain". And what doesn't work? Well, there's the forced, almost contrived lyrics (never thought I would say that about Carly!) of "Big Dumb Guy" (though, I must admit, "Guy"'s melody is so intoxicating I find myself being drawn into the song more and more with each listen!) and the less-than-satisfactory feeling that the album's closer "In Honour Of You(George)" leaves you with. But these are minor complaints. The truth of the matter is "The Bedroom Tapes" is one of the most captivating albums of 2000. While not an easy, casual listen - you have to really pay attention to this CD - it's a release full of rewards, by an artist who continues to grow and amaze. Carly Simon has been my favorite solo artist for almost thirty years now. "The Bedroom Tapes" only helps to enhance that feeling."
A poignant and profound masterpiece
Jef Fazekas | 05/18/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is an astonishingly passionate and personal CD with consistently great songwriting by Carly Simon throughout. While she turns her witty and wry focus on some terrific "characters" as in "Actress", "Cross the River", and the lovely "What Ever Became of Her", the songs about herself are deep and revealing -- and liberating -- and as resonant as anything she has ever done. All the familiar rock/pop/folk sensibilites are there in "Our Affair", "So Many Stars" and "Big Dumb Guy" -- great catchy tracks that many fans will love (as I do too), but it is the achingly painful and gorgeous songs "Scar", "I Forget" and "In Honour of You (George)" that will stop you in your tracks. This is not a "singles" album" but a CD that demands your complete attention from beginning to end. Her singing is glorious -- emotional, raw and passionate. The songs she sings are her most fully realized and personal ever. Without any reference to current trends, it's like a breath of fresh air. It's real -- never synthetic. It immediately ranks as one of the most intimate and revealing singer/songwriter albums ever."
Carly's best album in years
Pierre-Marie Dufour | Paris, France | 05/16/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This new Carly Simon album is her best effort in years, probably as strong as "Boys In The Trees" back in 1978. The album starts with the Sheryl Crow-like "Our Affair" (Carly can still rock, and she does it well) but she's never as good as when she sings folk-rock ballads with moving lyrics and strong melodies ("Scar", "Whatever Became Of Her", "Actress"). A must-have !"
So Many Stars
Pierre-Marie Dufour | 05/18/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Carly Simon quite possibly puts forth her best effort ever on "The Bedroom Tapes," as she wrote almost all the material, performs almost all the vocals, plays almost all the instruments, and did almost all the production herself. It's obvious that this album was a labor of love. As usual, she opens up to her listeners, especially in the beautiful and confessional tracks "Scar" and "I Forget." Of course, Carly has fun as well, with "Our Affair," "Big Dumb Guy," and "Actress." "So Many Stars" is also a standout, and its title is fitting because Carly shines in so many ways on this album. Whatever you love about Carly, you will find it on "The Bedroom Tapes.""