ARTIST: Paul Simon
TITLE: There Goes Rhymin’ Simon
YEAR RELEASED: 1973
CHART ACTION: #2 US, #4 UK
SINGLES: Kodachrome (#2 US), Loves Me Like a Rock (#2 US, #39 UK), American Tune (#35 US), Take Me to the Mardi Gras (#7 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: No
LINEUP: Paul Simon and a veritable plethora of session musicians.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: A quick follow up to his debut is 10 great songs, well-crafted and produced exquisitely.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Paul Simon is the songwriter’s songwriter. He also knows that you need to have singles and hooks for the radio and the casual fans, but you don’t want to skimp on the deep cuts that the die-hards love.
These ten tracks, recorded over a few months in several locations, display Simon’s gift of melody, song construction, and lyrics. Moving from genre to genre, Simon infuses each song with just the right balance and blend of hook and depth, and makes sure the arrangements and production complement his music and lyrics. It’s record making 101.
If I have one bad note, it’s the vocals on a couple of tracks, notably in places of “Take Me to the Mardi Gras”, that I believe strains Simon’s voice to a point where it’s just not enjoyable. The song itself is fine, but his falsetto doesn’t work in some of the verses.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: The lead single, “Kodachrome”, couldn’t be played on the radio in the UK because of the mention of a commercial product. Fine, BBC, whatever.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, some demos.
GRADE: A: Not quite perfect, but an album you definitely want in your collection, especially if you are an aspiring songwriter.