“Paul Simon” by Paul Simon - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1972Album Chart of the Decade: 1970s1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die external-link.png

TJR says

The bromance with Art Garfunkel now seemingly at end, Paul Simon reverted back to writing and recording solo material, and 1972's self-titled release was the first LP solely under his own name since “The Paul Simon Songbook” in 1965. A very special effort was made for the album's opener, “Mother And Child Reunion”, which was mainly recorded in Jamaica with Jimmy Cliff's backing group. It's pucker reggae, and this bodes well for Simon's credibility and intention. It was chosen as the album's lead single in February, 1972, and, showing good taste, the British and American record buying public placed it in the Top 5 of their respective national pop charts. His healthy penchant for experimenting with world music is on display with the next track, “Duncan”, featuring his old Andean pals from “El Condor Pasa”, Los Incas, who provide some of their lovely, lilting flutes as Duncan's coming-of-age tale is revealed, including the immortal line of lines “just like a dog I was befriended”. Go on Duncan! This was the third and final single to be released from the album, following the sprightly “Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard” which opens up side two. The samba-esque vibe is due to the use of the cuica, a Brazilian friction drum instrument, which almost gives off a laughing monkey sound, which very much suits the naughty sounding protagonists. You could almost view the album's 3 singles as a world-music trilogy. Simon's impressive versatility is underlined on my own personal favourite, “Paranoia Blues”, a twangy swinger well versed in the old form. New York City's giving the man some anxiety: “they roll you for a nickel, and stick you for the extra dime.” An entertaining album, even if lacks the strength-in-depth of the Simon & Garfunkel long-players.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [03:05] 6.9.png Paul Simon - Mother And Child Reunion (Paul Simon) Reggae
A2 [04:39] 6.5.png Paul Simon - Duncan (Paul Simon) Folk
A3 [01:59] 5.1.png Paul Simon - Everything Put Together Falls Apart (Paul Simon) Songwriter
A4 [03:52] 5.4.png Paul Simon - Run That Body Down (Paul Simon) Songwriter
A5 [03:55] 6.2.png Paul Simon - Armistice Day (Paul Simon) Cerebral Pop
B1 [02:42] 7.7.png Paul Simon - Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard (Paul Simon) Pop
B2 [03:20] 5.7.png Paul Simon - Peace Like A River (Paul Simon) Songwriter
B3 [02:34] 6.0.png Paul Simon - Papa Hobo (Paul Simon) Folk
B4 [01:21] 5.4.png Paul Simon - Hobo‘s Blues (Stéphane Grappelli) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
B5 [02:54] 7.5.png Paul Simon - Paranoia Blues (Paul Simon) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
B6 [03:42] 5.0.png Paul Simon - Congratulations (Paul Simon) Songwriter

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