Favorite

Paul Simon, So Beautiful or So What (Hear) 

Paul Simon—69 and fearless—tackles spirituality, mortality and the endless, mysterious power of love on a stunning new record that eclipses all of his solo work since Graceland.

With poetic directness and restless curiosity, Simon's lyrics are loaded with questions and pondering about the meaning of life, the nature of God and where precisely humanity fits in the vastness of eternity. Song titles like "Love Is Eternal Sacred Light" and "Questions for the Angels" cut right to the point.

Simon's contributions to rock and folk music are as great as anyone's, and 25 years after Graceland, So Beautiful or So What arrives as a statement of continued relevance. Musically, it's dense and gorgeous, with those familiar vivid rhythms and flourishes that he's turned to in his latter work. The album is consistent almost to a fault; despite its other strengths, it is missing the sort of timeless single that he's turned out over and over.

Simon's skilled songwriting finds and subsequently reveals fascination in the small details of daily life, at the same time as he's dealing with life's huge questions. As he sings in "The Afterlife," "It seems like our fate to suffer and wait for the knowledge we seek."

Simon is certainly a seeker—with a long career of making incredible musical progressions outside of any trend. Produced by Simon and Phil Ramone, So Beautiful or So What is like a long and lively conversation, rushing through ideas and questions as if they were thrill rides.

More by Eric Swedlund

  • Courtney Comes Home: The Shondes

    The Shondes return to Tucson with new line-up and Old Pueblo favorite Courtney Robbins
    • Aug 25, 2016
  • Hue Are You?

    Baroness’ latest album was born of an accident that nearly killed the band
    • Aug 25, 2016
  • Furious Island: AJJ

    New name, same subversive sound from Andrew Jackson Jihad now AJJ
    • Aug 18, 2016
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

The Range

The Weekly List: 21 Things To Do In Tucson In The Next Seven Days

Food Truck Frenzy at Tucson Hop Shop

Crooked Teeth and a New Brewery

More »

Latest in Rhythm & Views

  • Rhythm & Views

    American Monoxide “In Flight Mode” (People In A Position To Know)
    • Dec 18, 2014
  • Rhythm & Views

    Wight Lhite “Beyond the Satellites” (Paisley Shirt Records)
    • Dec 11, 2014
  • More »

Most Commented On

Facebook Activity

© 2016 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation