So Beautiful Is Paul Simon

Photo image by Steve Jurvetson*

Last spring my husband and I bought a copy of Paul Simon’s latest CD, So Beautiful or So What. Gary didn’t have time to listen to it right away, so I was with my own thoughts for the whole experience. The lone time resulted in an aha moment for this non-music-oriented consumer.

One of the few CDs I’ve truly enjoyed in the past has been Simon’s Graceland. I have also enjoyed portions of his CD Surprise. Imagine my own surprise when I listened to So Beautiful or So What and thought I recognized portions of a couple songs — several series of notes reminiscent of other Simon songs.

“That’s cheating!” my brain exploded. But I kept listening. By the time I was halfway into the songs, it hit me. Just like literary writers are known for their bodies of work and often for themes that they can’t let go of, so must be music writers, too. Well, duh! I could now relax and notice something else about Simon’s latest CD. The echoes of earlier works that I did hear were ultimately pleasing, like old friends. Mr. Simon was sharing himself, just as all writers do, and listeners, like readers, are drawn in.

There’s a lot new in So Beautiful or So What. Paul making himself sound like the devil is a sound you have to hear to believe, and you will believe. The title song, positioned at the end, hit me as nothing short of brilliant. I’ll need to listen again to figure out why I think so.

*Link for photographer Jurvetson

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2 Responses to So Beautiful Is Paul Simon

  1. Ivy Bliss says:

    I love Paul Simon. No matter what he does. :)
    His lyrics inspire the writer in me and the wanna-be musician in me. He is truly a poet disguised as a guitar player.

  2. You’ve got that right, Ivy!

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