So Beautiful or So What (Concord)
Apr. 11, 2011
With its echoes of Africa and gospel, Paul Simon's new CD often rises from familiar ground while sometimes giving way to surprise, as on the vaguely bluesy title track. As a wordsmith, Simon juggles snatches of beautiful lyric poetry with humor and irony. So Beautiful or So What conveys a certain mood along with themes reflecting on the careworn but still hopeful lives of everyday people struggling to hold on—even after death, as in the light-hearted yet somehow awestruck narrative from the other side, "The Afterlife."