Someone tell Paul Simon he’s already made these songs. Alzheimer jokes aside, In The Blue Light shouldn’t exist; at least not in this form. A live video of the songs being performed as they are here, in the stripped-down style of chamber jazz, would be cool. Hearing them as a new studio album is disconcerting. I dislike the concept of cover songs in general. A whole album of a singer covering his own nears absurdity. Consider the fact that there are now two official versions of these songs. In order not to confuse yourself when putting one on your playlist, you now have to include its year in brackets.
The newest is from 2011. The oldest is from 1973. That means his first and last albums are overlooked along with several others, which would be understandable if not for the fact that one; You’re The One; is revisited. There are four songs from that album, which totally ruins the balance of the set. It’s presented as ten of Paul Simon’s favorite Paul Simon songs; René And Georgette is one of my favorites also; but he should’ve limited it to a favorite from each album. Nevermind the fact, or my opinion, that, with the exception of Darling Lorraine, the You’re The One selections are some of the worst here.
At least they’re on beat. It sounds like he can’t hear the music he’s singing to on Some Folks Lives. Every one of these new renditions are either worse than or about on par with their original counterparts. Not that it isn’t easy listening. The album is, to my ears, clearly better than Stranger To Stranger and So Beautiful Or So What, probably even Surprise. Paul Simon, one of my favorite song artists, has been making subpar music for a while. At 76 years old, perhaps it’s time he retires; not just from touring, which he has, but from making new albums of any kind. His shining legacy is starting to flicker.
my rating = 3 of 5