10 Songs, 38 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

As a songwriter in a class of his own, Paul Simon never stops swinging wildly for the fences. His lyrics don’t just inform; they dare. The words may be read off the page with nearly the same eloquence as when Simon puts them to one of his indelible melodies. So Beautiful or So What is heralded for being the reunion between Simon and his masterful ‘70s producer, Phil Ramone. While this is certainly a team that knows each other’s strengths, it’s merely a footnote in the greatness behind songs like “Getting Ready For Christmas Day” and “The Afterlife” where Vincent Nguini’s guitar shimmers and glides past the group. “Love and Hard Times” is a piano-based tune that beautifully captures Simon’s melancholia. The songs lean heavy on mortality as Simon marches towards 70. However, he shows no sign of slowing. “Love Is Eternal Sacred Light” kicks up a bar-band romp with spirit and precision. “Questions for the Angels” shows his heart and brain still alight for the less fortunate and for those whose choices are never close to his own inspirations.

EDITORS’ NOTES

As a songwriter in a class of his own, Paul Simon never stops swinging wildly for the fences. His lyrics don’t just inform; they dare. The words may be read off the page with nearly the same eloquence as when Simon puts them to one of his indelible melodies. So Beautiful or So What is heralded for being the reunion between Simon and his masterful ‘70s producer, Phil Ramone. While this is certainly a team that knows each other’s strengths, it’s merely a footnote in the greatness behind songs like “Getting Ready For Christmas Day” and “The Afterlife” where Vincent Nguini’s guitar shimmers and glides past the group. “Love and Hard Times” is a piano-based tune that beautifully captures Simon’s melancholia. The songs lean heavy on mortality as Simon marches towards 70. However, he shows no sign of slowing. “Love Is Eternal Sacred Light” kicks up a bar-band romp with spirit and precision. “Questions for the Angels” shows his heart and brain still alight for the less fortunate and for those whose choices are never close to his own inspirations.

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