Bob Waskiewicz | Wintersville, Ohio United States | 02/26/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After 10 years,this Album is priceless.Carly has taken us to the great standards of the 40's.Frank Sinatra's,"In the wee small hours of the morning,"while our GI's were fighting for our country.Fred Astaire's,"I'll go my way by myself." And Carly's own original,"What has he got." This album is a classic. Carly's voice is perfection.My Mom loved this tape,especially "My funny Valentine." It brought back all the great memories of the 40's when she was a young girl,back to life. There still playing cuts from this CD on the radio,and "My Romance" is on a TV perfume AD sung as a duet with Ben Taylor.I loved Carly's HBO special with most of these songs featured,along with Harry Connick,Jr. Anyone that wants to hear some good music for a change,play this record tonight."
A sweetly sentimental valentine
John Jones | Chicago IL | 05/13/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A lot of artists dedicate albums to standards. It's easy to see why, as songs that live on for thirty-plus years are obviously the ultimate challenge of interpretation and emotion. Some are surprisingly good (pop diva Sheena Easton's Patrice Rushen-produced set brought out chops we never knew she had) to surprisingly bad (between jazz, country, and Spanish music, Linda Ronstandt apparently thinks she can sing anything, but that's not the case). What's important is bringing something genuine to the table; picking up a Gershwin lead sheet and surrounding yourself with a symphony isn't enough. Thankfully, Carly Simon has plenty to offer on this winning album.The arrangements here are just what you'd expect when you think of songs like "My Funny Valentine," "Bewitched," and "Time After Time"...warm strings, jazzy piano flourishes, brushed drums, etc. And while it may seem a bit too mannered for some in its resistance of trying something new (save for an inventive EWI solo on the melancholy "When Your Lover Has Gone"), any fan of these songs or Carly's rich, one-of-a-kind voice will no doubt love this project. You can't argue the quality of material, and Simon's performances are filled with an obvious affection for the songs, adding another layer to the warm emotion always present in her singing. She also knows what Ronstandt didn't, which is when to vocally hold back and when to pull out all the stops. Ronstandt had a fondness on her standards albums for belting out notes in the middle of lines sporadically throughout a song, as if more attention was to be paid to her technical ability instead of the song itself. Thankfully, Simon knows when it comes to songs as time-tested as these, you are certainly no better than the material. As a result, "By Myself/I See Your Face Before Me" and "Something Wonderful" are tastefully and appropriately understated, while the breathtaking "Danny Boy" bursts with emotion that is forceful but not forced.Carly even picked up her writer's pen to try her hand at a standard/showtune/pop song of sorts, "What Has She Got"; the elegant intro, clever lyrics and intricate melody are so impressive that looking at the credits is the only way to tell it wasn't composed by one of the great songwriters responsible for the rest of the material here. This fact alone proves that "My Romance" is a success as a standards project; the singer and songs have become inseperable. So light the candles. Uncork the wine. Sit close to the object of your affection and let one of pop's classic singers seduce you both with some of music's classic songs. Carly Simon's "My Romance" is easily your romance too."
Not Quite 'Bewitching', but 'Something Wonderful'
J. Collins | 06/20/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Carly's second full album of Pop standards and pre-Rock show tunes pays homage to songwriters and composers that she loved as a child. Her devotion to and affection for this music is obvious, and entirely commendable. Where "Torch" (her previous foray into this genre) added contemporary production techniques and jazzy flourishes to classic songs, "My Romance" has the feel of a period recording, complete with orchestra. There is little or no overdubbing in this recording, and that "live" sound has the feel of an intimate club performance.Given the quality of the material and the directness of the sound, it's hard to point out flaws in "My Romance" without taking issue with Carly's vocal performance. As a singer, Carly has always had a very warm, inviting vocal tone, and that charm generally "carries" her when her material isn't up to snuff. But as an interpreter, the dynamics of her voice fall short, particularly when the material calls for delicate phrasing or emotional subtlety.Carly's fans go back and forth on the merits of her singing, and which album presents her in "prime" voice. But to say that she offers "rich" vocal interpretations of these songs is little more than wishful thinking. Carly's strongest musical gift has always been her ability to write memorable and affecting (modern) Pop music...and her "best" performances as a vocalist have usually been on songs that she wrote herself. Though there are personal touches embedded in "My Romance," Carly never really comes close to "stealing" these songs from any of the legendary singers who made them great. Bear in mind that this is not a condemnation or put-down, simply a matter of putting this album in perspective. As musical entertainment, "My Romance" is a sincere pleasure, particularly for listeners who are unfamiliar with previous versions of the songs contained in it. There is passion, pathos, and simple devotion in Carly's performance, and these qualities should not be dismissed in light of her vocal technique.Listeners who enjoy this album would do well to search out the home video version of "My Romance" in Concert, which includes some wonderful spoken introductions from Carly, as well as a couple of duets with guest Harry Connick Jr. If her love of these songs isn't readily apparent to you by listening to the CD, her joyful and heartfelt performances on video will convince you.-Mic"
Rebecca*rhapsodyinblue* | CA USA | 02/23/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
""This is an album I have wanted to do for years. These are my favorite standards. This is my romance." ~ Carly Simon
My Romance Words & Music By: Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart
My romance doesn't need to have a moon in the sky My romance doesn't need a blue lagoon standing by No month of May No shining stars No hideaway No soft guitars My romance doesn't need a castle rising in Spain Nor a dance to a constantly surprising refrain Wide awake I can make my most fantastic dreams come true 'Cause my romance doesn't need a thing but you
To me this is one of the best-ever CDs recorded by Carly Simon. I only have four Carly Simon CDs on my collection and they are among the best of her recordings. Aside from this one, the rest are "The Best Of Carly Simon," "Torch" and "Film Noir." I received this CD as a 'just-because-gift' from a very good friend of mine. Thank you very kindly my dear friend! You've got good taste in music, but you know that! You knew exactly what I wanted.
Listening to Ms. Simon's renditions of these timeless classics is such a treat to one's ears. She's singing these songs from the heart and she's really good at these kind of 'torchy' songs. Who can do better justice to these songs than someone who knows how it feel to lose a loved one and to be heartbroken? The opening is my absolute favorite Rodgers & Hart's gem of gems - "My Romance," which she interpreted with so much ardor and the arrangement is just perfect, and hers is my very favorite female vocal version and for male vocals, I'd go for James Taylor's version from the CD "That's Why I'm Here."
One of the most noteworthy tracks is my all-time favorite, another Rodgers & Hart's treasure "My Funny Valentine," which she rendered so splendidly and the piano accompaniment by Michael Kosarin is sublime! I listened to it several times, and so with the first track. Beautiful and timeless songs to enjoy for a lifetime!
Her interpretation of Bob Hilliard and David Mann's composition "In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning" is so hauntingly heart-rending that it moved me to tears! And as I listen to her rendition of this evocative song, I remember the way Frank Sinatra sung it with so much passion. So my vote goes to Sinatra's version for the best male vocals and Simon's version for the best female vocals. On the liner notes Ms. Simon reflected on Frank Sinatra and I quote:
"This album is dedicated to Frank Sinatra, who might as well have been singing directly to me, I felt it so strongly."
"What Has She Got?" is another evocative song she co-wrote with Michael Kosarin and Jacob Brackman. The other notable tracks are Rodgers & Hart's "Bewitched" and "He Was Too Good To Me" and Styne & Cahn's "Time After Time."
This is undeniably a classy CD to add to your Carly Simon collection. It's a keeper and I wholeheartedly recommend it. Outstanding! "
What a Voice,What a Talent,What a Treasure
Rebecca*rhapsodyinblue* | 06/17/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I always love Rock,but Carly has taken us to the Great Standards of the 40's. Frank Sanatra's"In the wee small hours of the Morning" while are GI's were fighting for our country. Fred Astaire's,"I'll go my way by myself." And Carly's own original,"What has he got," This Album is a Classic. Carly's voice is perfection. My Mom,who died four years ago loved this CD. It brought back all the great memories of the 40's,when She was a young girl,back to life. Thank you Carly,for taking us on another Musical Adventure."