on 2 February 2001
Paul Simon matures wonderfully, in this, his second solo album. Moving on from the majestic heights of Simon & Garfunkel, he carves out his own niche amongst pop's greatest artists. "There Goes Ryhmin' Simon" demonstrates vividly that he is obviously comfortable with a variety of sounds. From the upbeat black humour of "Kodachrome" through the insecurities and harmonies of the beautiful "American Tune" and onwards to the touching "St Judy's Comet", Simon churns out hit after wonderful hit. By the time "Loves Me Like A Rock" completes the journey with a crashing crescendo, we are left in no doubt that Simon has earned his solo place in pop's hall of fame.
I think Paul Simon is a genius. I`ve often taken him for granted - after all, he`s been around longer than most, those early records with Garfunkel were nearly fifty years ago, and he hasn`t been as prolific as most of his peers. Perhaps that`s the secret of his success, that he hones his songs to perfection then lets us hear them and marvel.
I`ve been less than impressed by only one of his solo albums - his last but one, Surprise, which was a rather ill-conceived production with some good songs. It`s been a pleasure to rediscover his older albums on their gleaming remasters, in particular Still Crazy and this near-faultless gem from 1973.
Several of these songs were hits, and are so well known now, but I`d forgotten about Tenderness, Something So Right, One Man`s Ceiling, St Judy`s Comet and One Man`s Ceiling, all wonderful songs.
Things kick off with the uptempo, quite rocky Kodachrome, catchy as anything. Then comes the glorious Tenderness, one of those Simon songs you don`t want to end.
Take Me To The Mardi Gras is just great, with its delirious falsetto vocal by Rev Claude Jeter. It`s probably a good thing you can`t hear me singing along with the good Reverend.
Something So Right is lovely, one of Simon`s gentle love songs. He does both sadness and joy equally well.
One Man`s Ceiling...is an oddity, a mid-tempo number with a fascinatingly haunting descending piano riff, played by Barry Beckett. It grows on you.
A highlight, and one of Simon`s truly great songs (reminding one glancingly of his earlier S&G masterpiece America) is American Tune - unaccountably omitted from the otherwise comprehensive compilation of a few years back. This longish track is a key Simon song, beautifully arranged by Del Newman. I remember PS singing an impromptu acoustic version on Parkinson years ago, sitting opposite the host. It was mesmerising. It works just as well without the strings.
Was A Sunny Day is Simon in Jamaican mode, a simple song that needs no great claims to be made for it. Nice, though.
Learn How To Fall, St Judy`s Comet, and the joyous Loves Me Like A Rock round off this marvellous, lovable album in fine style. There are a few extra tracks in the shape of demos - and an excellent `work-in-progress` called Let Me Live In Your City, which didn`t make it onto the original release.
Paul Simon has always had soul, and a sophisticated sense of rhythm and musical subtlety. He`s a quietly effective singer of some of the most memorable songs of my lifetime.
Some of them are here. There they go...
on 3 March 2012
I bought this cd after months of searching for an album by Paul Simon called "Kodakchrome". That album doesn't exist -but the song does-on "There Goes Rhymin' Simon".
I was instantly transported by to the age of 13 when my pal bought this LP (as it was in those days)and played it to a few of us. Forty years later, the songs sound as good as ever, perhaps better, because we have lived lives and had experiences,that Paul Simon sings about, but back in the day, we had yet to know for ourselves. A great mix of songs that can still hold their own today. It's worth buying to listen to some beautiful lyrics and wonder at amazing chord changes that make the music cut into your heart and soul.Experiencing Paul Simon is definately still brilliant after all these years.
on 24 July 2000
I remember hearing this album when I was about seven and I've loved it ever since. My brother had a tape version of it and we played it to death. When I found you could get it on CD I bought it immediately and an extra one for my brother so he wouldn't borrow mine!
What is it about this CD that is so appealing? For me it is the realisation that Simon's songs are so simple but at the same tell a story about life - wherever you are in the world our lives are very much the same. We all have pride about our country, we love the people who are in our lives and we want to record the moments of our lives that matter. This CD is a retrospect of Simon's early life. "Kodachrome", "American Tune" and "Love me Like a Rock" are powerful songs and based on personal experience. They may, perhaps, have a little something for everyone and maybe the people who buy this album can relate to some of the stories. I know that I can. Thank you Paul. Keep it up.
on 15 June 2012
This is my favourite Paul Simon album!
The songs are musically really inventive and the lyrics are humorous and insightful. Many of the songs are very upbeat, starting with the fast-paced "Kodachrome". I really like "One Man's Ceiling is Another Man's Floor" (for the song, and for the philosophical message). "St. Judy's Comet" is so gentle it will have you drifting to sleep at the end of the day. The bonus tracks are really good. Plus, the CD is packaged like a vinyl record, which is really cool!
If you've heard any of these songs before and liked them, you will not be disappointed with the rest of this album.
on 19 December 2006
"There Goes...", despite the whimsical title, is an impressive collection of songs, at times stunning, at other times infectious and at other times moving.
On "American Tune" we have a contender for not only one of Paul Simon's best ever songs, but also a contender for surely the top 50 best songs written in the last 40 years. A chorale-like stateliness underpins a moving, thoughtful vocal that is a profound state of the nation address for its time.
"Something So Right" is a tender love song done with elegance and intelligence. "Loves Me Like A Rock" is infectious and "Take Me To The Mardi Gras" is authentic and charming.
"Tenderness" sounds like something Dion and the Belmonts might have pulled off.
An over-looked classic.
on 4 September 2012
To be honest I'm not the biggest Paul Simon fan, there always been a bit of a Beatle solo feel to his work, although his last two records "Surprise" & "So Beautiful.." seem a good return to form.
The reason for purchasing album was because of reading an S&G biog, which went on to explore their solo careers, giving this record a glowing review, & I'd never heard of it. So I put it on my Birthday Wish list, & here is it.
Now it has a great laid back, stripped down, summer evening feel to it, with no weak tracks, & defiantly should be as revered as "50 ways.." or "Graceland".
Some nice demos as well.
on 13 May 2015
I can't decide which is my favourite Paul Simon solo album - this one or its follow-up. STILL CRAZY AFTER ALL THESE YEARS is superb, and probably has the edge in production and arrangement, but the quality of the songs is slightly less even than on this, which to my mind doesn't have a single non-brilliant track. While I applaud his later forays into building more thematic albums with world music influences, I find myself coming back with delight to this exquisite suite of tender, beautifully crafted songs, any one of which would have made a worthy single (and I gather quite a few of them did). 'Something So Right', for example, was plaintive in his collaboration with Annie Lennox, but his own original is much more richly textured, tightly structured and has that subtlety of arrangement that adroitly captures the ambivalence of the lyrics; and anyone who can follow the heartfelt, Bach-inspired 'American Tune' with the joyfully innocent 'Was A Sunny Day' - not to mention his paternal lullaby 'St Judy's Comet' - must be doing something SO right it makes you sick! No need to mention the hit singles, except to say "What's not to like?". I declare, anybody who thinks this album is anything but a delight needs their ears examining, and possibly their head as well. Sublimin' rhymin'!
For some reason I never bought this when it was first issued and only acquired it years later. Big mistake! It is a classic.
Anybody who is compiling a 'Best of' album for Paul Simon will find this a treasure trove. Kodachrome, Take me to the Mardi Gras, Something so Right, American Tune, Loves me like a Rock ... these are all songs which, if played at a live concert would cause the audience to applaud in recognition. Half the album instantly recognisable ... not bad at all! And the rest of the tracks are hardly fillers.
Paul Simon was rapidly maturing into the consummate solo artist that he is and surviving far better than Art the break-up of Simon and Garfunkel. The variety of styles on this album is one of its features. It shows an artist content to embrace a wide range of different musical influences and stamp his own mark on them. That makes for an album that constantly maintains the listeners' interest.
Available on CD for just a fiver: you won't find better value. A must-have for virtually any collection. Five stars
on 14 October 2000
This may not technically be one of Paul Simon's best albums, but for sheer enjoyment and hummable tunes that make you feel better than a child at Christmas, this has to be one of the best albums ever written...along with Eva Cassidy's Songbird.