In the liner notes of Letters Never Sent, Carly Simon reveals that during her '93 spring cleaning she discovered a box of old, unmailed letters in her closet. "I set a handful of them to music," she explains, "adding a rhy... more »me here, deleting a noun or verb there, and allowing the emotions to find comfortable rhythms." Simon hasn't completely abandoned parallel meter, rhyme schemes, or verse-chorus structure, but she has loosened their grip sufficiently to create a new kind of pop song which has the prose feel and specific focus of a personal letter. Not all these experiments work, but the best of them have the fresh air of something genuinely new. Simon is always quite lucid about who she is addressing--whether it's her mother, a new lover, or an ex-lover--and what she is saying. --Geoffrey Himes« less
In the liner notes of Letters Never Sent, Carly Simon reveals that during her '93 spring cleaning she discovered a box of old, unmailed letters in her closet. "I set a handful of them to music," she explains, "adding a rhyme here, deleting a noun or verb there, and allowing the emotions to find comfortable rhythms." Simon hasn't completely abandoned parallel meter, rhyme schemes, or verse-chorus structure, but she has loosened their grip sufficiently to create a new kind of pop song which has the prose feel and specific focus of a personal letter. Not all these experiments work, but the best of them have the fresh air of something genuinely new. Simon is always quite lucid about who she is addressing--whether it's her mother, a new lover, or an ex-lover--and what she is saying. --Geoffrey Himes
Marcia C. (marciamarcia) from PONTE VEDRA, FL Reviewed on 6/14/2007...
An incredible album. The title song alone makes this worth getting... and then there are 13 other songs!
Dreamers & artists & lovers for a moment touched by the sun
Thomas Lapins | Orlando, Florida USA | 10/30/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I purchased this cd based soley on the concept. We all have our "letters never sent" our "phone calls never made" our "I love you's never said". So I thought I'd gamble on this cd. A very good gamble it turned out to be. Musically this is one of Carly's finest collections of songs. Track two "Letters Never Sent" has some interesting lyrics that break the ice nicely. Track three "Lost In Your Love" is an uncomplicated moment of reflective rapture recalled by Carly. Her voice soars! Track four "Like A River" is the centerpiece of this cd. The loss of a mother, the harsh realities sprinkled with fond memories. Carly takes both lyrics and melody on a rollercoaster ride, high and low, of the aftermath and myth of death and moving forward. Track six "Touched By The Sun," written for Jacqueline Onassis, is the stuff of legends and myths and dreamers and artists and lovers all of whom have been touched by the sun, sprayed by its warmth and light, caught in its madness and majesty. Carly's tribute to Mrs. Onassis is fitting. Track thirteen "Born To Break My Heart" are some of Carly's best lyrics. The music and the voice are forceful, this one seems driven from some past and painful experience still lingering too close. This one could have been on "No Secrets". It's that good. Same honesty and lyrical imagery. Track fourteen "I'd Rather It Was You" leaves us with Carly calling out for someone, for something not quite realized. A song easy to relate to."
Simon's "Letters" is a priority shipment
John Jones | Chicago IL | 05/14/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"After a career filled with personal and intimate songwriting, it should come as no surprise that the entire concept for Carly's 1995 release came to her in the middle of Spring cleaning. "Letters Never Sent" is the result of Carly finding an old box of exactly that, and we're treated to musical versions of various notes to Carly's family, friends, and ex-lovers. The results make for one of her strongest outings.Love is thoroughlly investigated in several stages: starry-eyed infatuation is explored on the sultry blues number "Lost in Your Love," the delicious, slightly-country "I'd Rather it Was You," and the gorgeous, acoustic "Davy." Then there's the nervous insecurities behind early passion on the gently rocking "The Reason," mature resignation to the fact that a relationship is far from perfect on "Born to Break My Heart," and even the alienated feelings of being unceremoniously dumped; the down-home blues of "Halfway 'Round the World" has Simon cleverly claiming that her estranged lover's passionate anger towards her is passion nonetheless..."I believe it's some kind of compliment/I must be quite a girl." On all of these songs Simon's voice is in top form (especially during the impressively soulful belting on "Lost in Your Love") and her arranging skills have never been tighter. "Private," an ode to keeping a relationship discreet, boasts sexy lyrics ("can you be private when the juice is sweet?") and some of Carly's jazziest, most unique chord structures. The albums finest moments, however, are "Like a River" and "Touched by the Sun." To say these songs are moving doesn't begin to explain their emotional impact. "Like a River" is a touching ode to her deceased mother; the lyrics here are so open and vulnerable it's impossible not to feel Simon's loss. "Touched by the Sun" is a tribute to Jacqueline Onassis (at least for starters), and is a powerful statement. Besides its musical force and soaring vocals, the lyrics of admiration for those who followed their dreams and achieved their goals ten-fold is an inspiring lyric for anyone's life. These two songs are among Simon's best work ever.The only real problem on the record (in addition to some quirky interludes that occasionally stall the flow of the project) is the title track; Carly apparently wanted to set the pace for the record, and while she accurately sums up the inspiration, the song's anticlimatic chorus was born without a hook. A better idea would have been to strum the chord progression on an acoustic guitar and briefly talk (not sing) about finding the letters and wanting to write about them, and let that serve as an intro instead of the eighteen-second violin opener that stops just as soon as you fall into it. But problems like that make for petty complaints...sort of like getting a great letter in a creased envelope. "Letters Never Sent" is a remarkably touching work, one that stands up to the standards that Carly Simon's intimate, vulnerable, and touching work over the years has led us to expect."
Dear Carly: Wonderful CD
Kyle Dunraven | Salt Lake City | 01/07/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This CD is one of the most cohesive CDs Carly has done for quite some time. Like a River flows with sound and lyric, the addition of music from her opera is very fitting. This CD stands out from her other resent releases. Coming Around Again, may have had the hits on it, but overall wasn't consistent. I recommend this CD highly."