"I was never quite sure why Carly's debut album was criticized for not living up to the standard of its leadoff single, the classic "That's The Way I've Always Heard It should Be." Indeed that song is quite an epic, and this album only begins to tap into the depths of Simon's persona. However, this is a beautiful debut and Carly displays herself as an ample interpreter of numerous styles, from country and blues, to ballads and folk."Alone" and "One More Time" are very strong in melody, with the former exuding an aching wale and the latter a bluesy resonance. "The Best Thing" is a beautiful piano-based ballad that is perhaps the second strongest performance on the album after the opening song. The mild rock edge of "Another Door" and the folkish, autobiographical "Reunions" continues the stylistic range of Carly's musicality. "Rolling Down The Hills" is the closest Carly ever comes to being a "hippie-chick" and it works surprisingly well, given that it seems quite uncharacteristic of her, both in this album and in her later efforts. "The Love's Still Growing," is the album's brooding closer that matches the sonic tone of ANTICIPATION'S "Three Days," despite the fact this was one song she didn't pen. Tracks on this album that I don't particularly care for are "Just A Sinner" and "Dan, My Fling." "Sinner" for some reason doesn't work for Carly, maybe because it's too hard core in its attempts to portray her rock 'n' roll side and "Dan" just doesn't fit into well into the album's overall flow. Nevertheless, this is a strong debut from Carly Simon that deserves a reevaluation. After all, she WAS just starting out and it's rare if you ask me for an artist's later work to be on a par with her debut. I mean, people do evolve."
Carly's First and Best
SoCal Mike | The OC, California | 05/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album could only have been made as a debut - before fame and success caused concession to the demands of commercialism.
The album is unique, in that it is an exquisite tale, chronicling a young woman's personal development, from contemplation of marriage, through disillusionment, stagnation, revival, diversion, to the final realization that "The Love's Still Growing".
It's an intriguing story that reveals more of its nuances each time you listen to it - and the only way to listen to it is from beginning to end each time you play it.
Carly's skillful use of her vocal abilities to create poignancy and swelling emotions has never been matched on any of her later works, which enjoyed more instant commercial success.
For me, this album will always be the definitive Carly Simon."
Really Listen, You'll Agree It's A Beautiful Beginning
Robert Cutchins | 10/23/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The first track is Carly's first big hit. You know it so it kicks the CD off with a familiar melody. Then, the songs you may have never heard before start. Listen carefully to the lyrics and music. Listen carefully to the emotions and feelings. Although the tracks seem diconnected, they really tell a wonderful story. Sure, Carly has changed over the years, but which one of us hasn't? Try to listen to this as though you have never heard of her before, you'll really be amazed. I love the fact that the first track is about marriage, and the very next track is ALONE. Yes, at first it seems quite strange, but, isn't that how we all feel? We all change our moods and minds quickly, and this is how I hear this CD. It's about a person going through many changes and sharing them with us. It may be a difficult listen to some, because it really hits home. If you really listen to it, and forget what came after (which is difficult) you'll get it. Then you'll be so much more amazed at where's Carly's gone and taken us."
A Break-Out First Album
Robert Cutchins | 09/17/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"What a way to begin a music career. This album has the incredible "That's The Way I've Always Heard It Should Be", which is vintage Carly. It also shows her budding abilities with other forms of music. "Just A Sinner" shows her talent with a frolicking rock and roll slant. Listen to the haunting words of "Reunion". Talk about touching your heart. This song has "the blues" written all over it. The final song on the album "The Love's Still Growing" is beautifully crafted, and shows off Carly's exquisite harmonies. Many of the other songs display her talents with her beautiful arrangements on the piano. I would surely advise any Carly Simon fan to get this album for their collection."