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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Hearts And Bones

Paul Simon

1983

Buy At Rough Trade
Hearts And Bones
Album Summary

Hearts and Bones is the sixth solo studio album by Paul Simon. It was released in 1983. The album was originally intended to be called Think Too Much, but Mo Ostin, president of Warner Bros. Records at the time, persuaded Simon to change it to Hearts and Bones. The album was written and recorded following Simon & Garfunkel's The Concert in Central Park in 1981, and the world tour of 1982-1983. Several songs intended for Think Too Much were previewed on tour, and Art Garfunkel worked on some of the songs with Simon in the studio, with an intention that the finished product would be an all-new Simon & Garfunkel studio album. Garfunkel left the project and Simon erased all his vocals and worked the material into a solo album.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.04

Votes

11263

Genres

  • Rock
  • Folk
  • Singer Songwriter

Reviews

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Sun Nov 22 2020
3

This is a pop record which feels primarily soothing. I'm with Christgau: It never quite takes off. The string arrangements suggest it could have, too (at least for me). The writing seems solid overall with a hint of cuteness at points.

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Fri Aug 25 2023
5

Paul Simon is amazing. At least half the songs started out a little odd to me and by the end I was fully into it. He also seems to understand how sounds layer really well and he was willing to use different methods to make the exact right sound. A song writing genius, as ever.

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Sun Jan 24 2021
4

A fun album, lots of interesting tunes and sounds. Doesn't take itself to seriously, a good listen that I have no disagreements with. Grooves and can get down too, easy listening, easy dancing. Paul Simon is a music man. True feeling: 3.8/5

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Thu Jul 01 2021
3

I felt like this album was really catchy and all round good vibes albeit inconsistent, however that “Cars Are Cars” song made me so frustrated and angry. what the fuck

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Wed Sep 20 2023
5

I love Paul Simon, but I have not gotten to my heavy listening period with him yet. Probably will come in my 30s.

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Sat May 22 2021
2

In which one half of the duo that gave us The Boxer and The Only Living Boy in New York released a lead single about allergies, and it wasn't even the worst song on the album. Did you know that cars are cars all over the world? An awful album only partially redeemed by an introspective reflection on the assassination of John Lennon. Best track: The Late Great Johnny Ace

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Wed Jun 22 2022
2

Pretty unremarkable, especially considering Graceland exists. Cars are Cars is probably one of the dorkiest songs to ever be made

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Mon May 24 2021
5

My favourite Paul Simon album, which says something given the company it has.

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Thu Oct 07 2021
5

I haven’t listened to much Paul Simon in a long time, and was surprised there was an album from 1983 that I had never heard of nor could recall any songs from. I started off a little skeptical about a song called “Allergies” kicking things off, but I quite liked it. Nice guitar solo in the middle and I like the music and lyrics. This song was the most obviously from the 80s on this album. The 80’s elements made me like it more, overlaid as they were on what was unmistakably a Paul Simon song. Also as an allergy-sufferer I appreciated the odd subject matter. Settled in to “Hearts and Bones”, a really nice song, and knew I would be in Paul Simon’s capable hands for the rest of the listen. As the album progressed I found myself pretty much loving every song. Paul Simon has more unconventional subjects (“When Numbers Get Serious” is great, despite some questionable multiplication), all accompanied by interesting arrangements. There are two “Think Too Much” songs. Both are fantastic (although I give the edge to (A) as my favorite, but glad both are there). “Song About the Moon” is one of my favorite songs on the album. “Train in the Distance” seemed vaguely familiar to me, so I may have run across this at some point in the past. “Rene and Georgette Magritte After the War” is beautiful, Paul Simon is a wizard of taking a lyric like that and making it flow so naturally in the song. “Cars are Cars” was the first song that as it started I thought might be a miss for me… but by the end I had warmed up to it. Love the juxtaposition of styles between the chorus and the verses. “The Late Great Johnny Ace” has an unusual ending provided by none other than Philip Glass that I found was a nice ending to the album. I’m glad this album was on this list as I doubt I would ever have encountered this anywhere else. Great album I will listen to again and again!

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Mon Oct 23 2023
2

This is just bland and a bit twee at times. Disappointing

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Wed Oct 25 2023
2

Very flaccid music. He sings about odd subjects and stories. Cars, trains, the brain, random thoughts he’s having I guess? Are we sure he isn’t a School House Rock singer? “Cars are Cars” could have easily been a hit. Unfortunately, that was the only song I liked. You can’t take this guy seriously, that’s the trick. I was happy when the album was over. 4/10

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Mon Oct 30 2023
2

This Paul Simon cover looks like a screenshot of a camera that caught him stealing in a convenience store. Maybe he was trying to steal a good song idea? And it obviously didn't work.

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Thu Jun 13 2024
2

It starts with a weird \"is this Paul Simon trying to be an 80's pop star\" vibe and never quite loses it. Hearts and Bones is most enjoyable and Cars are Cars is the most silly. Gone at Last is a Simon-esque collab with a gospel groove. Overall, kind of a yawner and completely benign.

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Sun Jun 23 2024
2

This is the third Paul Simon album I've been served in the span of two and a half months. Please make it stop. I'm really starting to resent the people who catapulted this man to such fame that he is considered so essential. He is about as fundamental to musical experience as the Barenaked Ladies.

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Fri Dec 01 2023
1

I hate this song Allergies, I think it's ridiculous. The 80s synth instrumentation kills me. I'm reminded of what I don't like about Paul Simon, the lyrics that go nowhere (in my opinion) except to a rhyme or pun. I don't feel a deep meaning, despite the songs hinting to it. No, Paul, in this case, you did not think too much.

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Wed Jan 10 2024
1

Every story I've heard about Paul Simon breaking anti-Apartheid travel restrictions and going to South Africa involve tales of him being bored and disillusioned with his own music, and as this appears to be the album he released before traveling to meet decent musicians - I can fully empathise. This album is technically a very competent recording, but blimey o'reilly it is ditchwater dull. Who could fail to be inspired by "Song about the moon"? Let's not mention the staggering obviousness of "Cars are cars". Are they really, Paul? It takes some real lyrical genius to spot that. Simon is a great musician, but there is little that exemplifies writer's block and moribund, contract-fulfilling journeymanning more than this tepid, desperately dull album.

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Thu Feb 01 2024
1

Paul Simon is singlehandedly responsible for some of the worst music of the 80s. Dude should have quit after accidentally knocking it out of the park with Sound of Silence. A boring dreadful listen that manages to straddle world music, cheesy 80s production and inexecrable singer-songwriter

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Fri Mar 29 2024
1

Opens with a song about having a rash, bold move. Loads of that huge 80s whoompy bass sound, possibly the whoompiest. The next song is more familiar: gentle acoustic guitar with a pitter-patter bongo percussion part and jazzy electric piano chords for a dash of schmaltz - his soft light vocals floating warmly over the mix. The rest of the songs settle somewhere between these 80s disco inflected synth pop and 70s folk singer sounds. It's all smooth and tasteful and pretty dull in a distinctly upper middle class upper middle brow way. Impossible to listen to this without picturing an arena full of Larry Davids vibing out to the musical equivalent of hotel art.

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Wed Apr 10 2024
1

This album has the stupidest lyrics I’ve ever heard. “Allergies” and “Cars are Cars” too the list.

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Sun Apr 28 2024
1

Am I the only one who finds Paul Simon insufferable? "Hearts and Bones"? Nope, "Farts and Drones."

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Sun May 05 2024
1

Cars are Cars is one of the most painfully stupid songs I’ve ever heard in my life.

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Mon Jun 24 2024
1

Oh. I guess Graceland isn't the only Paul Simon solo album I hope to never hear again. ZERO stars.

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Wed Mar 10 2021
5

Just such a naturally appealing voice.

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Wed Mar 31 2021
5

It's really good, I love rock and pop, this album actually combines them really good, nice

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Fri Apr 30 2021
5

Fantastic album full of Simon's trademark humor and creativity!

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Mon Jun 21 2021
5

I can't believe I haven't heard of any of these songs prior to this! Paul Simon is a genius.

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Fri Sep 17 2021
5

Im giving it a 5 because I got it at a very fitting time,

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Thu Oct 07 2021
5

This album is not without some 80s cheese and some of the songs seem rather pedestrian in their themes (Allergies? Cars Are Cars? Write what you know, I guess). But Paul Simon is a poet and a prophet who can write a good melody and some great lyrics. (I also forget sometimes how freaking funny he can be.) I understand why I missed this album in 1983 --- it was a little grown-up for my 15-year-old tastes. But this sure appeals to me now. The title track, Song About the Moon, Think Too Much, and Rene and Georgette Magritte... are all really nice pieces of music. Train in the Distance and The Late Great Johnny Ace gave me chills.

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Thu Oct 07 2021
5

So, this was a surprise. If you'd asked me about Paul Simon albums, I could have told you there was "the one from 1975" with all the good songs and then "Graceland" in 1986, which I owned, and listened to over and over and over back in the day. You then might have pointed out, "Late in the Evening" came from a 1980 album, and I'd say, "Oh yeah, I love that song, too." So for our first Paul Simon album to be this one from 1983, it was a surprise. But again, such a joyful surprise! There's not a song I didn't love. I love the sound of all these songs. I love the lyrics. "Allergies" is such a fun song! "René and Georgette Magritte with Their Dog After the War" is so lovely lovely lovely! The rest of the songs are all very fun ("Cars are Cars"), or painfully lovely, or both. "The smartest people in the world/Had gathered in Los Angeles/To analyze our love affair/And possibly unscramble us." !!! "Hearts and Bones" says SO much with just the lyric "the arc of a love affair." Man. Love this one. Love Paul Simon. Glad for this one.

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Wed Jun 22 2022
5

Standout Tracks: Allergies, Hearts And Bones, Think Too Much (a), René and Georgette Magritte with Their Dog after the War

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Tue May 23 2023
5

Considered a commercial flop, but as true fans of Simon know, this is among his best work. Personal and from the heart, exploring feelings we all have. Some great songs on here and his vocals are perfect. This album makes me feel something his biggest releases don’t even.

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Mon Oct 02 2023
5

People should be beating off to Paul Simon the way they do to Bob Dylan. What a talent. Really pleasant album and better than Dylan in so many more ways. 8/10.

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Wed Nov 15 2023
5

Hit a diamond in the rough with this one. Fantastic album front to back.

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Fri Dec 08 2023
5

Great lyricism and calming music.

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Sun Dec 10 2023
5

Easiest 5 stars yet. Paul Simon is a genius and it’s an honour to get to listen to his work.

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Thu Dec 21 2023
5

All of Paul Simon's music makes me feel good. Really enjoyed this.

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Thu Dec 28 2023
5

Excellent - did not recognize it when it came out. Only the later ones.

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Wed Jan 10 2024
5

Love me some Paul Simon, fantastic lyricist and musician.

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Fri Jan 19 2024
5

I think Paul Simon is finally growing on me I really liked this one, except for the one about cars that was annoying asf

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Mon Jan 22 2024
5

Really enjoyed this! I have always enjoyed his music...so calming and soothing.

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Sun Feb 04 2024
5

my favorite paul simon album and one if my favorite albums all time. The Lat Great Johnny Ace, Renee and Georgie Magritte, Hearts and Bones, Train in the Distance- some songs may not match up but i love the whole album

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Fri Mar 22 2024
5

Excellent album, a bit uneven, with some classic Simon songs.

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Sun Mar 24 2024
5

Man, Paul Simon, huh? Pretty great, this guy. Should have given Graceland a 5, but I didn't so I'll make up for that. Happily. Even with the Sesame Street skit. Music to feel good to.

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Sun Apr 21 2024
5

You'll never see me give a Paul Simon album not a 5. That being said, this one is lower on the list of 5s for me, even though Hearts and Bones is one of his best songs. Enjoyed the acoustic versions at the end of the deluxe re-release, especially the Everybody Love the Sounds Of A Train In the Distance.

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Wed May 01 2024
5

Think too much (a) is amazing. Cars are cars - good as well. 5. Excellent album.

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Fri May 10 2024
5

Probably my favourite PS album.

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Tue May 14 2024
5

Wow I really really liked this album. I knew I was a fan of Simon and Garfunkel but I don’t think I’ve ever listened to Simon on his own and I loved it. It sounded similar to his duo work and there wasn’t a part i didn’t like.

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Wed May 22 2024
5

A hidden gem! I knew albums before and after but hadn’t heard this one…only a couple songs from it. Great album!

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Fri May 24 2024
5

I’ll be honest and tell you that my eyes rolled a little bit when I saw this album pop up and figured it was just the result of some Paul Simon fanboys on the editorial team for the book. After all, I consider myself a Paul Simon fan (though I stop short of being a fanboy) and I’d never even heard of it! It turns out I just don’t explore enough because this does in fact kick ass and even though it seems unfair for Paul Simon to have at least three albums on here (because surely Graceland at least is still coming up, right?), I agree you should listen to it before you die. The only thing that sucks about it is that it sounds like Paul was a dick to Art during the making of it and that the experience broke the Garfunkelian camel’s back, leaving all of us without the opportunity to hear what the two of them could have gone on to do together.

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Fri Jul 12 2024
5

Really good production, need to hear it again to see how replayable it is

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Mon Sep 14 2020
4

Decent, not quite as good as Graceland though.

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Tue Nov 03 2020
4

im gonna be honest it didnt even occur to me that music like this still happened in the 80s. like this sounds way more like some 70s bullshit with a couple synths thrown in every so often, which i guess makes sense because paul simon is the guy from simon and garfunkel, and i think most artists are always kinda stuck to the time of their peak to some degree. like in ten years i dont rly expect taylor swift to be at the cutting edge of pop music yknow? i dont mean any of this as a negative to the album, it just suprised me a little and the fact that this sounds like pretty nice 70s rock, with a bit of folk and strings and whatever else thrown in sometimes + a couple synths, is all i can think of to rly say about this album. its nice, its comfy, its kinda boring sometimes. cool stuff.

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Wed Feb 10 2021
4

Hearts And Bones tells simple yet striking little stories about being human. Although some aspects do sound a little outdated (e.g. 80's Caribbean flutes), I love the way the singing and instruments blend perfect together with emotion throughout the album. It brings together a lighthearted yet serious way of storytelling.

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Fri May 14 2021
4

Like the last Paul Simon this was very pleasant to listen to

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Fri May 14 2021
4

I love Paul Simon's style. It very recognisable but still very varied from album to album. This would have five stars but Cars Are Cars was just too much.

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Fri Feb 12 2021
4

I love the feeling of this album and how it's so soft. Both versions of Maybe I think too much are great but I think I prefer (b). (a) sounds like vulfpeck. Love his voice too, but I think allergies is a bit much for this album.

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Thu Jun 24 2021
4

Enjoyed this way more than I expected. Lots of weird and wonderful moments

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Sun Apr 11 2021
4

Very good. I mostly knew Paul Simon for his time in Simon & Garfunkel and his only solo hit I knew was Al. He's a very talented songwriter.

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Thu Jun 24 2021
4

enjoyed the original acoustics at the end. nice storytelling

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Wed Feb 03 2021
4

Sick as album. Bangers all round

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Fri Jan 22 2021
4

i cant tell what paul simon album are the best. he was just born to be a songwriter, yknow?

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Tue May 18 2021
4

This was going to be a Simon and Garfunkel reunion album until they fell out and Simon got rid of Garfunkel's parts and re-recorded sections. Panned at the time it is a bit of a hidden gem. BT: Hearts and Bones, Song About the Moon, Train in the Distance

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Sat May 29 2021
4

Paul Simon goated! It was slow but really good. Songs were kinda random but they were fun

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Tue Jul 20 2021
4

Always enjoy Paul Simon, groovy, intriguing lyrics, good stuff

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Thu May 13 2021
4

Favorite: Think Too Much (a)

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Tue Jun 22 2021
4

Pleasantly surprised by this one. I'm probably the only person that is not a fan of Graceland and the influence that World music played in Simon's future works, but this album is lovely to listen to. It will definitely work it's way into my rotation. Actual score: 3.9

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Thu Jul 08 2021
4

Pleasant voice and good song writing. Some very good guest musicians. (7/10) Favorite Tracks: Think Too Much, The Late Great Johnny Ace

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Thu Jul 08 2021
4

It’s the real Paul Simon sound, but not the best. The last 3 (original acoustics) are great examples how creative and unique “classic” songwriting can be.

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Fri Sep 03 2021
4

One of my top 5 all-time favorite song writers. Not my favorite album but still great.

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Sun Oct 31 2021
4

When I first dove into Paul Simon’s catalog a few years ago, this was one of my least favorite of his solo albums. I still think it’s pretty uneven, but the title track is one of his best songs, and “Train In The Distance,” and “Renee and Georgette Magritte with Their Dog After The War” are really great too.

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Sun Oct 31 2021
4

I can see why this album didn't do well at the time, but these are pretty solid songs throughout. He just seems like a such mature and confident songwriter here. On the other hand, I'm also grateful that this album failed, since Graceland wouldn't have emerged otherwise. You can definitely hear him starting to flex the kind of muscles here that he explores later on in Graceland

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Sun Nov 21 2021
4

Really enjoyed this album. Really beautiful songs

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Wed Dec 08 2021
4

Lovely lyrics and melody. Makes ya pause, think and feel. Loved the exploration of love, time, age, music, and identity/our never ending wants as humans. Was drawn in from the first song.

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Wed Dec 22 2021
4

Really poetic lyrics for some of these songs. Particularly loved Train in the Distance

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Thu Jan 13 2022
4

J’aime beaucoup paul simon et cet album est fidele a son style et a lu meme, j’ai aime mais ce n’est pas dans ces top. 4.15*

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Wed Jan 26 2022
4

Pretty good, thoughtful, well executed. I think Graceland is the better record. Have always graded Paul Simon on anti-curve ... that is, I've been a bit of a hater for as long as I've known what an a-hole he is reputed to be (sourced by members of his band).

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Thu Feb 03 2022
4

a lot better than expected. very cool sound and melodies. calming.

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