Paul Simon: So Beautiful or So What

We caught Paul Simon and his 8 piece band at The Fox Theatre in Oakland last night: super good show lasting well over 2 straight hours with a solid mix of old and new. The band is stunningly versatile and tight, and Simon is in great voice. The new album is much better than a lot of his recent offerings and I encourage anyone who has a chance, to catch this tour. This is not a trip down memory lane by a 70 year old has-been, but a really vital and contemporary contribution to the music scene. He paid tribute to Phoebe Snow, who died yesterday, by including a fine rendition of "Gone at Last" which had the crowd on it's feet.
What a beautiful venue....I saw Sheryl Crow a few blocks away at the Paramount about 10 years ago....the most elegant public bathrooms I have ever seen.
We saw Paul Simon years ago on the "Born at the Right Time"
tour in Oakland. It was a great show and we had great seats so the sound was amazing. I like his new album alot.
The Fox Theatre in Oakland is one of the best places ever to attend a concert (along with the Paramount). We saw Natalie Merchant there last year. I'm sorry to have missed
the recent Paul Simon show. If I had known it was coming I wouldn't have missed it. I guess I'll have to spend more time on the internet because the Calendar section in the newspaper just isn't getting the word out.
i'm sorry, i've listened to the new record a few times now, and am unimpressed. IMHO he's not done anything noteworthy (ie more than a few listens) since Capeman, which really was a wonderful record.

Good listening,

I'm going to take a chance on the new album if it is available on vinyl but I have to agree that the last great album was Capeman and hope that this new one is better than the last album, which stunk.
The new album is available on vinyl. I've got it, but my turntable is still a week or so away from arrival. But I also have the CD and like a number of the songs on it, so am looking forward to hearing them on vinyl.

Happy listening!
I think the new album is terrific.
I haven't been a fan of his last few.
It is one of those albums that grows on you more with each listen.
Highly recommend.
Another fan of the new Paul Simon CD here. As Glen indicated was his experience, it's grown on me with repeated exposure, too.

It's wonderful ! I only wish it was longer than 38 minutes. Come on Paul, can't you give us some more music for our hard earned cash ?
Yes, the length (perhaps I should say shortness) totally surprised me. Great album, though.

As I started playing it for the first time I immediately got on the computer and purchased a ticket for the Bogotá in Atlantic City. This album is great. My favorite is album of his is Hearts and Bones and the Sound-Smith guy Peter Ledermann told me when we were listening to it using his Strain Gauge that Paul knows its his best work too.
I guess i'll be the first in this thread to say I don't get this album at all. It sounds like a step back and actually quite boring. There is not a single song on here that I can say grabs me or touches me in any way and frankly, I'm pretty disappointed. I'm a huge fan and loved Surprise but this record sounds like fluff. I don't hate it but I also do not expect to feel indifferent about a Paul Simon album which I do. I do think it's cool that you can buy it in high rez and it sounds great, thats nice I suppose but cmon Paul, your better than this!

You have well established over time via your contributions here that you are a discerning consumer of singer/songwriter output. I have purchased more than 1 cd (usually with happy results) on the basis of your recommendation. Further, you are certainly entitled to like or dislike anything you hear and these comments are not intended to diminish the value of your take on the overall appeal of this CD,...but......

This ain't fluff.

It's a relentless attack on religion and it pointedly rejects any comfort found there during these difficult times.

Christmas is a financial burden, family reunion prevented by war.
In heaven, you "fill out a form first and wait in a line".
God and His only Son leave Earth because they've got more important work elsewhere.
Only Fools Believe in Angels.

Even the healing power of love gets it from Simon on this CD - "A demon of the mind" that devolves into a justification for terror.

This is one dark puppy from Paul.

I also think (like almost all of Paul Simon's work) that it's quite inventive ryhtmically.

None of the above compels you to like it, and I'm not saying that you should. OTOH, I think it's hard to dismiss this as "fluff" and I'd argue that it, at least, deserves some respect for the seriousness of its intentions.


Thanks for the kind words my friend, as well as your gentle approach! Certainly no need but appreciated none the less.

Funny you offer these comments as I was just listening to the album again... on as I type. I really want to like this because this is an artist thats touched me so many times through my mounting days. There are moments that I do really enjoy such as the title track and the softer Love and Hard Times however as a whole, it honestly bores me. Yes, there is weight to the subject matter but those issues are covered by artist after artist and can either touch or in this case, come off as preachy or me of course.

We all hear these records with different ears and different souls and none of us emote in equal direction. I play stuff I love for my wife and she looks at me like I've lost my mind! She's my kindred spirit so you'd think we would connect on music too but often thats the farthest from true.
I just read a post in the 2011 new music thread referring to an album I recommended and the guy found it best as a coaster! Still...I have more often found great stuff from opinions of my fellow Agon friends than I have misses so the sharing that goes on here somehow works. I even have developed a friendship with a guy from this forum because he has damn near the same collection of music that I have. Anyway....just wanted to share my opinion of the record here because that is what seems to make all this go...

Third time listening last night..... this album is getting better and better.