Friday, July 6, 2007

"Surprise" Paul Simon

I bought this album based on Paul Simon's track record of superb music composed and sung over the past decades. What a surprise this album held for me. I hated it.

I did not like the overpowering electronic accompaniment, nor the tuneless pieces that Simon passes of as songs. There were hardly any pieces that stayed with me after giving this album three listens. I had to force myself to do this because sometimes what one dislikes the first time round become more palatable and even delicious after repeated listens.

There are no hooks at all in any piece nor memorable musical phrases to haunt me and keep me going back for more. The lyrics are mundane, or too obvious -- some even meaningless. Simon sings about discrimination, fatherhood and a host of other issues that other artists have also sung about more passionately with music that is at least listenable.

Perhaps now with the success he has had with career, Simon has no motivation to please a mass audience – just himself and those who, perhaps influenced by his reputation, can still find something meaningful in this collection.

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