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Pop/Rock - Released June 1, 2012 | Legacy Recordings

Hi-Res Distinctions Exceptional Sound Recording - Pitchfork: Best New Reissue
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Pop/Rock - Released August 25, 1986 | Legacy Recordings

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Folk/Americana - Released July 12, 2010 | Legacy Recordings

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Pop/Rock - Released July 12, 2010 | Legacy Recordings

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Folk/Americana - Released July 12, 2010 | Legacy Recordings

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Pop - Released April 3, 1968 | Columbia

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Simon & Garfunkel quietly slipped Bookends, their fourth album, into the bins with a whisper in March 1968. They are equal collaborators with producer/engineer Roy Halee in a multivalently layered song cycle observing the confusion of those seeking an elusive American Dream, wistfully reflecting on innocence lost forever to the cold winds of change. Bookends opens with an acoustic guitar stating a theme, slowly and plaintively. It erupts into the musical dissonance that introduces "Save the Life of My Child." Its uneasy rock & roll frames highly metaphorical and ironic lyrics and a nursery rhyme bridge. "America" is a folk song with a lilting soprano saxophone in its refrain as a small pipe organ paints acoustic guitars, framed by the ghostly traces of classic American Songbook pop structures. Two people travel the landscape by bus searching for the track's subject, eventually discovering that everyone else on the freeway is too. Its sophisticated harmonic invention is toppled by its message; "America" becomes an ellipsis, a cipher, an unanswerable question. "Overs," a study about the end of a relationship, contains Halee's ingenious use of sound: lighting a cigarette and inhaling and exhaling its smoke underscore the story told by the melody and lyrics. In a two-minute field recording of the voices of old people collected from nursing homes by Garfunkel, disembodied voices reveal entire lifetimes in a few seconds. "Old Friends" carries the message deeper. Simon's image of two old men sitting on a park bench sharing memories and their fears of the changes surrounding them is indelible. A horn section threatens to interrupt their reverie, reflecting the chaos they perceive, but is warded off as the gentle melody returns and fades into the album's opening theme. In "Fakin' It," Simon reveals the falsity inherent in modern life -- it's better to appear to have it together than reflect the struggle of not being able to: "This feeling of fakin' it/I still haven't shaken it/I know I'm fakin' it/I'm not really makin' it." The album's final three tracks, "Mrs. Robinson" (the iconic theme song from the film The Graduate), "A Hazy Shade of Winter," and the album's concluding track, "At the Zoo," offer a tremblingly bleak vision of the future rooted in the lives of everyday people who "fake it," living an illusory dream publicly while trembling with confusion and fear in private (no matter one's generation), subverting the Madison Avenue notion of the "generation gap" simply and honestly. Bookends' problematic, disillusioned themes, sometimes disguised in wry humor, striking arrangements, and augmented orchestral instrumentation, portray the sounds of people in an American life that they no longer understand, or understands them. Simon & Garfunkel never overstate; instead they observe, almost journalistically, enormous life and cultural questions in the process of them being asked. In just over 29 minutes, Bookends is stunning in its vision of a bewildered America in search of itself. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Pop - Released February 15, 2019 | RCA Records Label

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Folk/Americana - Released May 5, 1973 | Legacy Recordings

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Folk/Americana - Released July 12, 2010 | Legacy Recordings

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Folk/Americana - Released July 12, 2010 | Legacy Recordings

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Rock - Released September 7, 2018 | Legacy Recordings

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As the saying goes, if you want something done right, you’d better do it yourself. This is why Paul Simon entrusted the cover of his own songs to… Paul Simon! Except that Art Garfunkel’s former accomplice completely reshapes his past tracks. Ten songs in total, forgotten for the most part, handpicked from his albums There Goes Rhymin' Simon (1973), Still Crazy After All These Years (1975), One-Trick Pony (1980), Hearts and Bones (1983), The Rhythm of the Saints (1990), You're the One (2000) and So Beautiful or So What (2011). By re-orchestrating them as jazz − sometimes even classical − pieces (gone with his folk and world temptations!), he folds his art flat and demonstrates how timeless his compositions are. For such a refined stylistic exercise, Simon surrounded himself with musicians as legendary as himself. Wynton Marsalis’ trumpet, Bill Frisell’s guitar, Bryce Dessner’s (from The National) arrangements, Jack DeJohnette and Steve Gadd’s drums, Joe Lovano’s saxophone, young Sullivan Fortner’s piano as well as John Patitucci’s bass further reinforce the project. But beyond this star-loaded panel, In The Blue Light truly fascinates for its unusual melancholy. At 76 years old, Paul Simon hasn’t authored a legacy piece, but rather the work of a wise man who glances in the rear-view mirror with great originality. © Max Dembo/Qobuz
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Folk/Americana - Released July 12, 2010 | Legacy Recordings

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Folk/Americana - Released July 12, 2010 | Legacy Recordings

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 18, 2020 | Globalist Industries LLP

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Pop - Released April 8, 2011 | Legacy Recordings

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Folk/Americana - Released July 12, 2010 | Legacy Recordings

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Rock - Released June 3, 2016 | Concord Records

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"The Werewolf" opens Stranger to Stranger, Paul Simon's thirteenth solo studio album, with a heavy rhythmic thud -- bass, drums, and maracas lumbering along in a modified Bo Diddley beat not a far cry from the Who's "Slip Kid." Simon isn't looking to the past, though: he's writing toward an inevitable sunset, mindful of mortality -- just like he was on 2011's So Beautiful or So What -- but he's firmly grounded in a tumultuous present, embracing all the cut-and-paste contradictions endemic to the digital age. With the exception of a pair of hushed acoustic numbers and the expansive title track, all positioned to provide necessary pressure relief from the density of the rest of the record, Stranger to Stranger feels built from the rhythm up, a tactic familiar to Simon since 1986's Graceland. Unlike the easy gait of Graceland, the words here are clipped and rushed, sliding in with the bustle of the rhythm. It's not that the songs aren't melodic -- hooks arrive in snatches, sometimes forming through the rhythms themselves -- but the tracks are cloistered and colorful, accentuated by traces of gospel and doo wop; there's even an apparent "Love Is Strange" sample. Echoes of tradition existing within this modern framework are telling, underscoring how Simon is making music where the past is ever-present but not consuming: he's shifted his aesthetic to mirror his times, a tactic common in his solo career. In many ways, Stranger to Stranger is as bracing and ambitious as Surprise, his 2006 collaboration with producer Brian Eno -- this is especially true of its opening triptych, all created with Italian dance musician Clap! Clap! -- but the tenor of this album is different. Where the specter of 9/11 hung heavily over Surprise, Simon seems at peace on Stranger to Stranger, acknowledging the twilight yet not running toward it because there's so much to experience in the moment. He's choosing to push forward, not look back, and the results are invigorating. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Folk/Americana - Released July 12, 2010 | Legacy Recordings

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Pop - Released September 18, 2019 | Cornelis Music

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Pop - Released June 21, 2017 | Syco Music