Paul Simon: Seven Psalms (Sony) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Paul Simon

Seven Psalms

Sony

Jul 03, 2023 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


It’s great to see that at the tender age of 81, Paul Simon is still keeping his fans on their toes. Seven Psalms isn’t quite a Graceland style detour from his typical acoustic troubadour style, but it’s still not what anyone might have expected from him. This album is a 33-minute-long suite of songs inspired by a dream he had in January of 2019. The lyrics came to him when he was half asleep and half awake, just before dawn and follow no narratives—a departure for someone who has a journalistic approach to songwriting. It’s a recipe for disaster, right? Not at all.

Seven Psalms is a gorgeous pillow of sound—all blurred edges and slow, slow movements. All the instruments are acoustic and there are no notes or textures here that would break the reverie. Mrs. Simon, Edie Brickell, sings along with her husband on “Sacred Harp” and “Wait” and her voice meshes superbly with Simon’s slightly weather-beaten but still lovely tenor.

The lyrics are fascinating: “The Lord is my engineer/The Lord is my record producer/The Lord is the music I hear/Deep in the valley of elusive.” You can almost hear Thurston Moore barking those lines out in the middle of a Sonic Youth noise-fest.

With Seven Psalms, Simon has tried his hand at something new and has succeeded. He manages to address the subject of mortality in an intriguing fashion—never maudlin. He’s still full of surprises, isn’t he? (www.paulsimon.com)

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10



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