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You're the One

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Album Review

The disaster of Songs from the Capeman hit Paul Simon particularly hard, so he decided to quickly record a new album, his first proper collection of songs since 1990's The Rhythm of the Saints — his first album in ten years, really. Nevertheless, if this album has a relative, it's 1982's Hearts and Bones, since it's a deliberately low-key, insular record, especially when compared to the sweeping worldbeat explorations of Graceland and Rhythm. But where Hearts and Bones was a singer/songwriter album, no two ways about it, You're the One illustrates the influence of its predecessors, but it's not showy about it. The African and South American rhythms are as much a foundation of Simon's music as folk is, and his compositions reflect it, boasting surprisingly tricky rhythms that carry through to his melodies themselves. That, combined with Simon's determination to meet aging head-on, makes You're the One a bit of an acquired taste, especially since its compositions are never overtly accessible and melodic — they're all tone poems, driven as much by tone and lyric as song itself. This all results in a record that may be a little too deliberately low-key and elliptical for most tastes, especially since it demands full concentration even from serious fans. But this does reward close listening, and even if it doesn't shine as brilliantly as Hearts and Bones (his most underappreciated record), it does share some similarities in that it's an unassumingly intellectual record that feels like it was made without an audience in mind. Which means it's more interesting than successful, but interesting can have its own rewards.

Customer Reviews


I had just bought this when my wife and I fell in love, and it became "our" album; We both love it. The fabulous world beat - feel, with Simon's great songs and Fabulous lyrics, this, IMHO, is Simon at his best. Most of his albums have something great about them, so I'm really unwilling to rate them against each other. If you enjoy listening to great music over a glass of wine at night, music which is more than silly pop, then this is for you. Not necessarily for under 25's, or those who need a lot of outward drive, in the shape of obvious hard drumbeats, or catchy tunes. This album crawls under your skin, and sticks. The musicians are beyond first rate, and this collection, as often with Simon is WAY beyond the sum of the parts.

Very good, often overlooked

A more straightforward effort, but quite good! Great moody work in "That's Where I Belong" and "Senorita With a Necklace of Tears." "Darling Lorraine" is just classic Paul storytelling.

Utterly cool

Not a huge Simon fan, but I can't stop listening to this album!


Born: October 13, 1941 in Newark, NJ

Genre: Pop

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

Paul Simon is 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...
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