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Picks and Pans Review: Spoiled Girl

updated 08/12/1985 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/12/1985 01:00AM

Carly Simon

If, as it sometimes seems, Simon lets the experiences of her life wind around her music the way a vine winds around a tree, this record indicates that she has been in a pretty cynical mood lately. Certainly this album, dark and chilly toned as it is, is a far cry from the playfulness of her previous LP, Hello, Big Man. That's not to say Spoiled Girl is a disappointment. In its way, it too is a splendid example of how effective pop music can be when a performer is willing to allow herself to be infused into her material. Simon wrote most of the lyrics, with collaboration from such melodists as Andy Goldmark, Don Was, Bill Payne and Russ Kunkel, the longtime studio drummer who has replaced actor-singer Al Corley as Simon's man of the moment. There are a couple of upbeat tunes, including My New Boyfriend and Tonight and Forever. But then she presents us with The Wives Are in Connecticut, about a philandering man, the torchy Come Back Home and the despairing Make Me Feel Something. Regrets aside, Simon never loses her sense of humor. In the title song, she writes, "When you got a pretty boy/You want a smart one/ When you got a smart one/You want him pretty/When you got one who's all over you/You wish he'd hold back/Then when he's being cool /You want him to attack." Nor does she lose her passion, and that makes for involving music. Whatever her mood, Simon is one of our most fascinating singers. (Epic)

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