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Music Review: Paul Simon – There Goes Rhymin’ Simon

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Columbia/Legacy has just released four classic Paul Simon solo albums in remastered form with bonus tracks. Paul Simon, Still Crazy After All These Years, Paul Simon In Concert: Live Rhymin’ and the subject of this review, There Goes Rhymin’ Simon are all memorable albums, which became big commercial successes by selling millions of copies.

Paul Simon has always been able to write a song. His ability to paint pictures with words has rarely been equaled in American rock music. His lyrics have been fun, thoughtful, incisive, interesting, and always entertaining. His music would undergo a number of changes as his career progressed but here it is simple, even though it explores a number of styles.

There Goes Rhymin’ Simon was his second solo album after his split from Art Garfunkel. It finds him settling into his career as a solo artist. The album boasted the debuts of a pair of timeless Paul Simon songs. “Kodachrome” and “Loves Me Like A Rock” were perfect radio fare back in 1973.

The four bonus tracks are probably more interesting than essential. They include his work in progress “Let Me Live In Your City,” acoustic demos of “Take Me To The Mardi Gras” and “Loves Me Like A Rock,” and an unfinished demo of “American Tune.”

While the aforementioned “Kodachrome” and “Loves Me Like A Rock” were both huge hit singles and remain the albums memorable tracks, “American Tune” may be the best of the lot. The music is gentle and serves as the background for a mesmerizing look into his own feelings and thoughts at the time. This formula of simple music running counterpoint to complex lyrics would be used many times during his career.

The lesser known songs contained a number of gems. There is the sensitive rendition of “Something So Right,” and the big brassy Dixieland of “Take Me To The Mardi Gras.” “Was A Sunny Day’ takes the listener on a journey to Jamaica. I even like the gentle lullaby, “St. Judy’s Comet.”

There Goes Rhymin’ Simon has been re-released a number of times down through the years and the music has been readily available, so it will be up to the individual whether they want to invest in this cleaned up version. The album, however, remains an essential listen, and should continually grace anyone’s stereo system, so if you do not own the album or have never bought it in CD form, then this release is a must.

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