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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Paul Simon: In The Blue Light

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It's not unusual for artists to re-record a song or two from their past oeuvre. Actually, the history of music is replete with artists revisiting their past achievements. This goes all the way to the era of crooners, and one can see singers like Frank Sinatra or Tony Bennett offering different takes on same songs in different settings at different times. Even though this is a new era, the process of revisiting and re-creating past songs and even entire albums ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Paul Simon: The Complete Albums Collection

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If the history books were to be closed on singer/songwriter Paul Simon's career today, he'd have already left a legacy more than sufficient to ensure a substantial chapter. While other emergent songwriters of his day--Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan and Randy Newman amongst them--have clearly evolved over the years, there's been an underlying approach that's remained consistent across, in many cases, half a century. That's not to dismiss or denigrate these icons of song, only to say that Simon has emerged ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Paul Simon: So Beautiful or So What

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After successful run at self-producing, yielding hits like Graceland (Warner Bros., 1986) and The Rhythm of the Saints (Warner Bros., 1990), Paul Simon reunites with Phil Ramone for So Beautiful or So What, the singer/songwriter's first album since the largely overlooked Surprise (Warner Bros., 2006). Ramone last worked with the singer/songwriter on One Trick Pony (Warner Bros., 1980), but was responsible for producing many of Simon's early hits from the 1970s. After breaking out with the iconic ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Simon & Garfunkel: Live 1969

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Recorded during performances in October and November '69 for what was supposed to be the live album follow-up to Bridge Over Troubled Water (which the duo had recorded before these concerts but was not yet released on Columbia), Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel capture on Live 1969 the mood of their generation changing. That live album never came out (until now) because during those dates their mystic musical communion was disintegrating, although you'd never know that from its joyful sound.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Paul Simon: Surprise

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Paul Simon has been exploring and adapting his songwriting to the music of other cultures since the mid- 1980s, but strip away the arrangements from this material and you still have Paul Simon the singer/songwriter. The same can be said about Surprise. Instead of the world music stylings of Graceland (Warner Bros., 1986) or You're the One (Warner Bros., 2000), Simon radically shifts gears here. Collaborating with veteran producer/sonic landscaper Brian Eno, he has produced an entirely contemporary album that ...