By Rob Weir
Over the Bridge of Time
Love him or hate him, there’s simply no point to a conversation about the past six decades of songwriting that doesn’t include Paul Simon’s name. This 47-year retrospective offers 20 tracks that take us from 1960s Simon and Garfunkel classics such as “The Sounds of Silence” and “The Boxer” through to 2011’s “Love and Hard Times.” Sandwiched between these are some of his Broadway ventures and his forays into world music on albums such as Graceland and The Rhythm of the Saints.
Perhaps the only under-examined aspect of Simon’s illustrious career is how New York it has been—the Beats-meets-New Left poetry of the 1960s, his sardonic observations of the human condition, and the rainbow cosmopolitanism of his cityscapes and melodies. Each of the album’s folk- and global-styled songs spent time on the pop charts, so I suppose we can add hybridity to his long list of accomplishments.