Paul Simon - So Beautiful Or So What
The latest album from Paul Simon sees him revisit the themes that have pervaded his music for the over forty years and the result is, not surprisingly, superbly performed and produced but sadly lacking in any real thrills. Maybe I was expecting too much of an artist fast approaching his 70th birthday, but most of the songs just float by without really grabbing your attention. You can imagine this being a record used as background music to an upmarket dinner party and I doubt that is what Simon was aiming for. This is not to say the album is without merit: ‘Dazzling Blue’ is a simply wonderful and almost perfect sequel to Graceland's ‘Under African Skies’; while the politically charged title track is a bristlingly brilliant piece that showcases Simon’s innate songwriting skills. So Beautiful Or So What is unlikely to win over a new audience but long term fans will no doubt be happy enough with the pleasant, if slightly underwhelming, offering.