audio review : Surprise ( album ) … Paul Simon

audio review : Surprise ( album ) ... Paul Simon

The real surprise is that after waiting six years for a new Paul Simon album, it arrives with only two good songs on it. The rest is decidedly decent like about half of the songs from his previous One. Perhaps it’s not such a surprise after all.

It seems that Paul Simon, one of my all-time favorite song artists, is simply losing his knack, which he’s had since at least the age of thirteen when he composed The Girl For Me; a romantic doo-wop ballad that easily topples anything here.

The focus now seems to be poetic words to rhythm. He’s as lyrically brilliant as ever, choosing his words carefully like that of a poet who expects to be quoted long after he’s dead, but catchy vocal melodies seem to be a thing of the past.

The “sonic landscape” of Brian Eno, which can go from easy rock to trippy jungle to cool space noise at a moment’s notice, is modern and fresh, but without interesting songs to wrap itself around, it just feels like boring background music.

The two good songs are Another Galaxy, about a girl who ditches her fiancé on their wedding day, and There Was An Ocean, which is best during its second verse where harmonious vocals and quirky bass jerks help bring it up from mediocrity.

my rating : 3 of 5

2006

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