Home | Audio Reviews |Audiophile Shows | Partner Mags News

Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine

 

Paul Simon
 You're The One

The Quiet Little Man
Produces a Quiet Little Piece

Review by A. Colin Flood
Click here to e-mail reviewer

Paul Simon "You're The One"

CD Stock Number: Warner 9362-47844-2

 

  The irrepressible Paul Simon is a hit maker 'par excellence'. I know, because I am a card-carrying member of the Paul Simon fan club. I own all of his record albums and all of his CDs (with the notable exception of one). When the little "hates to tour" man came to town, I quelled my "an outdoor stadium is no place for a concert" mutterings and thoroughly enjoyed his impeccable 12-piece band syncopation. No doubt, I will buy his next CD and attend any local concert, should he ever resume touring.

For decades of Simon's tunes fill the halls of pop music. From the poetic 60's "Sounds of Silence" to the bopping 90's "You Can Call Me Al" (punctuated with one of the most delectable bass riffs in modern rock). Paul Simon was once, has been again and may still (with his tribute to heros CD coming soon) be one of the best selling folk-rock artists in the world. However his last album, You're The One, released in October last year, is not a resounding hall-of-fame piece of work. I do like this unique CD, although it is a very different genre.

You're The One is not another toe tapping Graceland (Warner, 1986) or the Rhythm of the Saints (BMI, 1990) syncopation tour-de-force. It does not have any of the irrepressibly happy tunes of most of his work. While the new songs do exhibit some of the taut South African percussion from the rollicking Graceland, and they do have some of the lush South American tempos of The Rhythm of the Saint, they are the polite, edited for TV, versions of the original. In fact, like network TV, You're The One is easy to wander away from - easy to miss what he is saying, easy to miss his careful crafting. The entire CD is mellow like Merlot, a dusky red wine in a tweedy jacket. It closely resembles the "Peace like a River" and "Papa Hobo" tunes, on his 1972 debut solo album, from beginning to end. Gentle tunes. Nice melodies. Not chart busters. The quiet little man has produced a quiet little album. It is not chock full of rocking melodies and memorable lyrics.

Accomplished lyricist that he is, Simon still excels at polite social commentary, story telling and master weaving of intricately controlled instruments. While his lyrics and melodies have mellowed with age, his superb craftmanship has not. He is still a potent poet, but his themes like the punch of sixties rebellion. On his hit packed 1972 inaugural solo release Paul Simon, he once brazenly wrote:

"Couple in the next room, bound to win a prize,
They've been going at it all night long".

Now, decades and numerous successes and marriages and New York Central Park concerts later, the demure songwriter/composer/producer merely murmurs:

"G-d is old, he broke the mold".

The rest of You're The One is filled with the same pithy, stirring, but hardly memorable, lyrics. They are not the biting social commentaries that moved and inspired rebellious generations at the depths of their souls. They are not the rhythmic words and bopping tunes which propelled neo-conservative Yuppies through their working lifestyles of middle age. They are not the Simon of the sixties, seventies, eighties or even the nineties. This is the Simon of the new millennia. It is not the Simons that I know and love, but it is a Simon I like - one I can grow to love.

This does not mean that Simon is not passionate about his love songs and life. He clearly is. Indeed, You're The One reflects his current passion. It is about love, living and coming of age. It is a peaceful album. It is as peaceful as the sedate tunes on his first album. This is Simon's quietest and most reserved album, not including his dismal and disappointing Broadway acappella, Songs from The Capeman (BMI, 1997). The CD Warehouse clerk warned me that this disc bounced back faster than a racquetball off a concrete wall. The Capeman is the only piece of Simon's work that I do not own. It is a purely vocal album with so little foot tapping music, and lyrics so highbrow, quiet and reserved that I immediately returned the used version the next day.

On You're The One, each of his songs is similar to one another, like Sade's songs are similar to one another and as simple as Tracy Chapman's folksy New Beginning (Electra, 1995). If you like the quiet version of Tracy Chapman, you will probably like this one too. This soft You're The One collection does grow on you, but at the tail end of the evening, with the TV off and the lights down low, it is the Sade, McLaughlin or Krall discs that I reach for, not the new incarnation of Simon. For a hit maker 'par excellent', this is the criticism with the sharpest sting - there are others toiling in this field that mine better gold.

 

Enjoyment: 90

Sound Quality: 75

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
 

Quick Links


Audiophile Review Magazine
High-End Audio Equipment Reviews

 

Equipment Review Archives
Turntables, Cartridges, Etc
Digital Source
Do It Yourself (DIY)
Preamplifiers
Amplifiers
Cables, Wires, Etc
Loudspeakers/ Monitors
Headphones, IEMs, Tweaks, Etc

 

Superior Audio Archives
Ultra High-End Audio Reviews

 

Videos
Enjoy the Music.TV

 

Columns
Editorials By Tom Lyle
Viewpoint By Roger Skoff
Viewpoint By Steven R. Rochlin
Various Think Pieces
Manufacturer Articles


Show Reports
New York Audio Show 2019 Report
Capital Audiofest 2019 Show Report
Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF) 2019
High End Munich 2019 Show Report
AXPONA 2019 Show Report
Zagreb AV Show Report 2019
CanJam Singapore 2019 Show Report
Salon Audio Montreal Audio Fest 2019
Bristol Hi-Fi Show Report 2019
Florida Audio Expo 2019 Show Report
Warsaw Audio Show Report 2018
New York Audio Show 2018 Report
Capital Audiofest 2018 Report
Copenhagen HighEnd 2018 Show Report
Australian Hi-Fi & AV Show Report 2018
Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF) 2018
CanJam 2018 Denver RMAF Report
KL International AV 2018 Show Report
High End Munich 2018 Show Report
AXPONA 2018 Show Report
Click here for previous shows.

 

Other
Audiophile Contests
Cool Free Stuff For You
Tweaks For Your System
Vinyl Logos For LP Lovers
Lust Pages Visual Beauty

 

Resources & Information
Music Definitions
Hi-Fi Definitions

 


Daily Industry News

High-End Audio News & Information

 

Partner Magazines
Australian Hi-Fi Magazine
hi-fi+ Magazine
HIFICRITIC
HiFi Media
Hi-Fi World
NOVO (CANADA HiFi)
STEREO Magazine
Sound Practices
VALVE Magazine

 

For The Press & Industry
About Us
Press Releases
Official Site Graphics

 

Contests & Our Mailing List

Our free newsletter for monthly updates & enter our contests!

 

Social Media & Video
      

 

 

 

       

Home   |   Industry News   |   Equipment Reviews   |   Press Releases   |   About Us   |   Contact Us

 

All contents copyright  1995 - 2019  Enjoy the Music.com
May not be copied or reproduced without permission.  All rights reserved.