Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Graceland - Paul Simon at his best

If you have listened to Simon and Garfunkel in The Graduate, you may not recognise Paul's voice and compositions for his more recent solo album Graceland. And I should defenitely add to that list you won't recognise, Simon's unique lyrics for this album. After having listened to Graceland for every night over the last week, I feel Simon's lyrics to this album are among the best for any rock album - and that should include Dylan as well.
Graceland is the name of Elvis Presley's estate in Memphis. (More here) But what Simon does with his album is borrow some really beautiful instrumentation, chanting and howling from the traditional music in Africa. Yes, howling. It's great to listen, btw.
If S&G were singing sweet ballad like songs with enchanting lyrics, then Graceland is in part African, in part Jazz, in part Rock n Roll and in part Rock music.
While Graceland found its way into Rolling Stone's best 500 albums ever list, it was also taken to task by some reviewers like this one.
But I have now listened to it more than a few times and I really do like it. I find it a liberating experience to listen to music which is from the 'other'.

Some of my other posts about rock music are here.