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So Beautiful or So What [Digipak]

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So Beautiful or So What [Digipak]

Artist: Paul Simon (Recorded By)

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Label: Hear Music
Album: So Beautiful or So What [Digipak]
# Song Title   Time
1)    Getting Ready For Christmas Day More Info... 4:07
2)    The Afterlife More Info... 3:40
3)    Dazzling Blue More Info... 4:32
4)    Rewrite More Info... 3:50
5)    Love And Hard Times More Info... 4:09
6)    Love Is Eternal Sacred Light More Info... 4:02
7)    Amulet More Info... 1:37
8)    Questions For The Angels More Info... 3:50
9)    Love And Blessings More Info... 4:18
10)    So Beautiful Or So What More Info... 4:09

Paul Simon presents his eagerly anticipated new album, 'So Beautiful or So What'. Produced by Phil Ramone and Paul Simon, the ten track album -- his 12th solo studio record -- sees Simon crafting his songs around harmony and song structure, instead of the beat-driven form of writing which has inspired him since the mid-1980s.

Recording the demos in the equipment packed cottage next to his house in Connecticut, guitarist Vincent Nguini and percussionist Steve Shehan offered up their talents, as did Grizzly Bear's drummer, Chris Bear, who contributed electronic drum parts.

Taking more than a year to perfect, Simon has revealed that 'So Beautiful or So What' reminds him of his very first solo release, his acclaimed 1972 album 'Paul Simon'.

1. Getting Ready For Christmas Day
2. The Afterlife
3. Dazzling Blue
4. Rewrite
5. Love And Hard Times
6. Love Is Eternal Sacred Light
7. Amulet
8. Questions For The Angels
9. Love And Blessings
10. So Beautiful Or So What

Performer Notes
  • Audio Mixer: Phil Ramone.
  • Liner Note Author: Elvis Costello.
  • Photographer: Mark Seliger.
  • Produced by longtime collaborator Phil Ramone, Paul Simon's So Beautiful or So What features guitarist Vincent Nguini, percussionist Steve Shehan, backing vocals from Simon's wife, Edie Brickell, and his daughter, Lulu, and a generous helping of the bluegrass group Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver.

Professional Reviews
Rolling Stone (p.71) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[F]ull of heavy business: life's meaning, beauty, brutality and brevity....It's his best album since 1990's THE RHYTHM OF THE SAINTS, and it also sums up much of what makes Simon great."

Rolling Stone (p.68) - Ranked #3 in Rolling Stone's '50 Best Albums Of 2011' -- "[Simon's] best album in more than 20 years..."

Entertainment Weekly (p.86) - "[T]he GRACELAND-ic guitar figures still emphasize rhythm above all....Spirited spirituality is his goal these days.' -- Grade: B+

Billboard (p.32) - "The album's songwriting and sound are deceptively complex, gradually revealing their intricacy with each listen. It's natural and earthy, with acoustic instrumentation and percussion to the fore."

Uncut (magazine) (p.32) - Ranked #29 in Uncut's '50 Best Albums Of 2011' -- "[A]n impeccably crafted, erudite and rueful collection of songs that tackled spirituality with both sureness and lightness of touch."

Producer:Paul Simon; Phil Ramone
Format:CD (1 Disc); Stereo
Studio/Live: Studio
Release Date:8 April, 2011

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1 review(s)
All Reviews
Hari Gangisetty on
So Beautiful So What is Paul Simon's 12th solo album and his first release in 5 years. And it was well worth the wait! This is, in my opinion, his best album since Graceland. As you would expect with any of his work, his melodies are amazing, his lyrics poetic, and the feel and sound stand out in its uniqueness. "Rewrite" creates some incredible textures through the use of a West African stringed kora, a djembe drum, and even the faint grunt of wildebeests on certain guitar notes. "Dazzling Blue" has a folksy feel with some amazing fingerpicking on the acoustic guitar. "Getting Ready for Christmas Day" uses parts of a 1941 sermon by Reverend J.M. Gates and adds richness to the story. "The Afterlife" shows Simon's lyrical genius as it explores the process of entering heaven: filling out forms and waiting in line. There really isn't any filler as each song is a joy that takes the listener on a musical journey. This is an amazing album and if you're a fan of Paul Simon you'll love it!

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