RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Paul Simon – Over the Bridge of Time

Rating: B+

Paul Simon is one of the great acoustic songwriters in the history of American music.  With Art Garfunkel, he was able to write songs that are forever imbedded into our culture.  As a solo artist, he continued to write the American Songbook, as well as push the boundaries of musical culture, mixing different kinds of genres with different races of people to create new sounds. 

Now, a twenty-song retrospective of both his Simon & Garfunkel and Paul Simon catalogs has been put together that celebrates the best of his music.  From the early days there are the tracks “The Sound of Silence,” “America,” “The Boxer,” “Cecila,” “The Only Living Boy in New York” and “Bridge Over Troubled Waters.”  Each song shows the passion and grace that Simon put into his music.

Paul Simon solo has a bit more fun and less raw emotion.  “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard,” “Mother and Child Reunion” and “Still Crazy After All These Years” represent a prolific era of songwriting for Simon, yet, somehow the pop tunes of “Late in the Evening” and “You Can Call Me All” are his best…maybe not as iconic as the other songs, but definitely gems on their own right.

It is nice to have a collection that showcases all areas of Simon’s career.  The only knock on this collection is that it could easily be two-discs…or three…or ten!

By Jeb Wright