In any case, the strength of her writing and performances are similar to past efforts. The enhanced percussion and synthesized trappings can't hide the fact that this is the same sensitive, observant and thoughtful Carly Simon who recorded "Anticipation." Several tracks ("Jesse," "James," "The Desert") are reminiscent of earlier songs, and could well have appeared on previous albums with slightly different arrangements. The hard-rocking edge of "Stardust" and "In Pain" is a bit of an eye-opener, though. Unfortunately, the latter track is too big a vocal stretch, and Carly hasn't sounded this 'squawky' since "Playing Possum."