Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /homepages/14/d426594527/htdocs/wp-content/themes/editorial/functions/admin-hooks.php on line 160

The opening lines of You’re The One provide a wonderful description of Paul Simon’s 30-plus years as a singer-songwriter.

“Somewhere in a burst of glory/Sound becomes a song/I’m bound to tell a story/That’s where I belong,” he sings to introduce his first studio album since 1990’s Rhythm of the Saints.

Like that album and his 1986 masterpiece Graceland, Simon’s songs rest on a complex bed of rhythm and percussion.

However, the 11 tracks on You’re The One are less accessible than those on Graceland. There will be no video co-starring Chevy Chase in the year 2000.

Running throughout the album is a sense of mysticism, as Simon’s lyrics weave in and out of narratives and quirky observations.

On “Se–orita With A Necklace Of Tears,” Simon announces “I have a wisdom tooth inside my crowded face.” Cryptic yet confident, Simon induces the mellow island sounds with an attitude that comes from age.

Even at 60, Simon’s playful side is not in doubt. On “Old,” he sings “Summer leaves and my birthday’s here/And all my friends stand up and cheer/And say man you’re old.”

Perhaps an indication that Simon can still smoke a lot of weed, “Pigs, Sheep and Wolves” leans toward the absurd to tell a farmyard tale of murder and intrigue that is more spoken than sung.

Although not Simon’s best work, You’re The One is engaging, musically and lyrically. The music is rich, and Simon proves he can still sing a beautiful story.

Originally published Oct. 10, 2000 in the Arizona Daily Wildcat.

(Note: Long before I started freelance music writing, I would occasionally dabble in the same type of stuff. I’ll periodically dig some of the good stuff out of the past and re-post them here.)

Tags: , , ,

Eric Swedlund is a writer, photographer and editor living in Tucson, Arizona. His music writing has appeared regularly in the Tucson Weekly, Phoenix New Times, East Bay Express, The Rumpus and Souciant Magazine.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.