Picks and Pans Review: Hello Big Man
updated 11/07/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 11/07/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST
It's a shame that the one foolish track on this otherwise imaginative, bright and most appealing album is the one that has been heavily promoted and turned into a video. While You Know What To Do does fit the sexpot image Simon insists on pursuing, it also includes some particuarly dopey lyrics, such as "I hear your motorcycle roar/ You pull up short outside my door" and "We make love like a house on fire/ We make love like dogs gone mad." Simon wrote that song with Jacob Brackman, Peter Wood and her producer, Mike Mainieri; the less said about it the better. By herself Simon wrote the much more memorable It Happens Everyday, a lovely, quiet tune about a breakup; Orpheus, which seems aimed at ex-husband James Taylor, and Floundering, a sendup of self-help crazes ("She's into political activism/ Reading up on Tibetan Buddhism/ Anna Freud's analyzed her dreams/ And she's hoarse from primal screams"). With Wood she composed the title song, a delightful tale based on her parents' courtship, and Menemsha, about a fishing village in Massachusetts. (Her sister Lucy, former siblings-in-law Kate and Hugh Taylor and her children Ben and Sarah are among the background singers.) There's also a Bob Marley tune and one Simon wrote with Mainieri and Jamaican Robbie Shakespeare. It's a varied batch of material that allows Simon to demonstrate her control and versatility. When it comes to singing modern pop material, nobody, as she once sang in a different context, does it better.