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So Beautiful or So What

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iTunes Review

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.

Customer Reviews

exceptional album

Spectacular! These songs are like constellations in a bright summer night sky-bright and enduring. What a great soul.

Beautiful Album

Wow, Paul Simon does it again. Beautiful Songwriting. Paul has returned to his roots and reinvented himself all in the same sweep. This is my favorite album since "Graceland" and "Rhythm of the Saints". Both song structures and lyrics are strong and delicate all at once. Well done Paul!

Clever lyrics, fun arrangements

Vintage Simon playfulness and poetic imagery. If you liked Graceland, you'll love this. Like having an old friend back.


Born: October 13, 1941 in Newark, NJ

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Paul Simon was one of the most successful and respected songwriters of the second half of the 20th century. Rising to fame in the mid-'60s, Simon's songs were mature and literate, but also melodically engaging, and spoke to the concerns and uncertainties of a generation. As the 1960s gave way to the '70s and '80s, Simon's work tended to focus on the personal rather than the larger world, but he also expanded his musical palette, and helped introduce many rock and pop fans to world music. Paul Frederic...
Full Bio