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CD Review -- Paul Simon


& & by John Parks & &

The year 2000 ushered in a return to original form within the music industry. Rather than charting off into uncertain waters, songwriters like U2's Bono and Paul Simon have both returned to an earlier palette. On You're the One, Simon returns to his semi-autobiographical/noticing the world around him approach to songwriting. The sound is straightforward, folksy and acoustic, a departure from the complex rhythms found on Graceland and The Rhythm of the Saints. We still get a sense of Simon's love for World Music but added to the mix this time around are passions for Buddy Holly and bluegrass.

Storytelling is at the forefront of these 11 songs. The word choice and flow of the phrasing is so good that you will find yourself looking forward to the next line. When all is said and done, we're left with the picture of a 59-year-old man who has seen it all, lived to tell about it and is probably ready to try it all again. Whether it be a broken heart, financial ruin or the Bible, Simon covers it all eloquently.

You're the One will sober the listener through its lack of arrogance and at the same time will inspire through its searching tone. This examination of life's unanswerable questions leads Simon to a peaceful solution. On the opening track he admits, "I'm bound to tell a story, that's where I belong."

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