.
http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/aca76cdf908f577de483e6db44ef44492ad6fa6f.jpg Come Upstairs

Carly Simon

Come Upstairs

Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 0 0
September 4, 1980

On Come Upstairs, Carly Simon's instincts are bold, but her music betrays her. Confronting a self-imposed semiretirement, declining disc sales and the pervasive peppiness of the New Wave, Simon has responded with a comely perversity by writing a batch of new songs that are either loose and trashy or tight and morose. Neither of these hybrids has much to do with what's moving in record stores these days, and the tunes suffer from the poor job that producer Mike Mainieri does of approximating the Doobie Brothers' creamy coolness.

 

As a result, the current album is so confused and boring that it almost sounds resigned to its own aesthetic failure. Come Upstairs commences with some promisingly slick, bitchy pop (the title track, "Stardust"), then quickly sheds its allure with witless paranoia ("Them") and ballads oozing with clichéd imagery ("Jesse," "James"). The peak of discomfort is "In Pain," in which Carly Simon (who's spent a career proving that she can be aggressive and vulnerable with equal ferocity) falls apart in the service of primal Muzak, yowling: "Pain, in pain/I'm in pain."

The awful thing is that you can't believe her for a second.

prev
Album Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Road to Nowhere”

    Talking Heads | 1985

    A cappella harmonies give way to an a fuller arrangement blending pop and electro-disco on "Road to Nowhere," but the theme remains constant: We're on an eternal journey to an undefined destination. The song vaulted back into the news a quarter century after it was a hit when Gov. Charlie Crist used it in his unsuccessful 2010 campaign for the U.S. Senate in Florida. "It's this little ditty about how there's no order and no plan and no scheme to life and death and it doesn't mean anything, but it's all right," Byrne said with a chuckle.

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com