“Reflections of My Life,” Marmalade (London 20058)
“You mean that great new song?” Every few months a record comes along—always a single—that is the epitome of pop (not rock and roll)—something tinsely, impermanent, rather shallow, and absolutely wonderful. “Reflections of My Life” is the sort of record that everybody has heard without catching the title, and everybody who’s heard it knows it’s good, like the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back,” or “Ode to Billie Joe.”
The words aren’t much (they usually aren’t with this kind of record); in fact, they’re rather insipid. Still, or perhaps because of that, the appeal of “Reflections” cuts across all the pop age groups, from the pre-teens who buy it to the people ten years older who buzz around town digging it. “Reflections” has a very melodramatic arrangement, punctuated incessantly by sharp spurts of high, tightly controlled harmony—sort of “Variations on a Theme by the Hollies.” The song is almost unbearably pretty, like “Little Surfer Girl,” say, just as dumb, and just as appealing.
Singles are perishable, disposable, and cheap. Good old fashioned paper clothes for a rock and roll soul. And “Reflections” is as shiny as Little Richard’s face.
A perfect fit.
Rolling Stone, April 30, 1970