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

Graceland

Paul Simon

1986

Wikipedia

Graceland

Rating

3.74

Votes

3914

Reviews

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5

“Graceland” by Paul Simon (1986) Please listen. I became very familiar with this fine album when it first came out in 1986, and it has been a favorite of mine ever since. Very well recorded and produced, with sublime if quirky lyrics and ear-opening instrumentation, “Graceland” pioneered a refreshing development in popular folk/rock. The most striking aspect of the work as a whole is its ready deployment of African musicians, such as the vocal group Ladysmith Black Mombazo (led by Simon Shabalala), guitarist Ray Phiri, and superb fretless bass player Bakithi Kumalo. Listen to Kumalo’s run at 3:43 on “You Can Call Me Al”. Tell me if it’s like anything you’ve heard before. Indeed, listen to this entire song for the inimitable bass playing. Also, listen to the first 27 seconds of this album (Forere Motlohelo on accordion [!!], Vusi Kumahlo on drums, Bakithi Kumalo on bass). Loud. You’ll know you’re in for a treat. Highly referential lyrics—South Africa, 1970s & 80s, Apartheid—perfectly bound to the melodies and phrasing. As subtle as it needed to be. God, this good music. And screw the accusations of cultural appropriation. Those accusations are just another glaring instance of liberals unnecessarily and inconsequentially eating their own. The African National Congress can sit on it. (The only ‘appropriation’ I objected to was when the 2000 Al Gore for President campaign used “You Can Call Me Al” as a theme song. Simon no doubt approved, but hey . . . Spoiled the song for me.) Overall, great album. Wanna decrease racial tensions? Get together across the racial divides. Produce music together. Solve problems together. Make babies instead of killing them. Peace, dude. 5/5

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5

This was a favorite when I was growing up and is a family favorite now. It's great on road trips, especially with children. Has a positively enchanting atmosphere that is so beautifully pristine and rich. Love everything about this album. From the wonderful guitar, bass, percussion, and vocal work, to the superb production with just the right mix of reverb and delay in all the right places. But what I think is the album's most outstanding feature is probably the lyrics. Absolute poetry with just the right amount of idiosyncratic conversational flashes to keep it down to earth. Not to mention perhaps the most culturally significant aspect of the album in the incorporation of the African musicians and blending of styles that was absolutely revolutionary at the time. Only David Byrne/Talking Heads and maybe Peter Gabriel had really ventured into that type of fusion on the US pop charts at that point.

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5

One of my all time favourite albums and I’m struggling to pick any faults with it. There’s something about the African Choral sound that instantly gives me those euphoric goosebumps. This is also my mum’s favourite album of all time so I spent most of my childhood bopping along to the Graceland cassette tape. You Can Call Me Al has a big claim to be high on the list of greatest songs of all time but there’s some hidden gems in here too such as Under African Skies, Crazy Love II & Homeless (with Ladysmith Black Mambazo who are also absolute legends). The naughty little saxophone hook in Gumboots is absolutely stonkin’. Had the biggest grin on my face all day listening to this back.

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5

I don't have to listen to this masterpiece to know its a 5 out of 5 for me, but I will! The 25th anniversary edition as well, what a treat! It is a glorious example of two different genres coming together and creating something even better. Paul Simon's lyrics and soothing melodies are gorgeously complimented by the Soweto choir. African and western instruments combine wonderfully. Every contribution is perfect. I love the bass lines. Every track is different and danceable, singable and just fantastic. Every time I listen, I hear even more wonderful musicianship. I can't see how anyone could listen to this and not feel elevated. Anyway, I would happily play just this album for the rest of time.

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5

One of my favourite albums of all time. Of course, it is impossible to extricate Graceland from the political environment from which it was born, and the folks who would tell you otherwise are ignoring a significant and real part of its history. The album is a beautiful mixture of American pop, rock and jazz, and traditional black South African music. However, it would be remiss of me to not draw a connection through Graceland to Elvis Presley, a white man who popularized black music among white audiences. I don't believe his intention was ever to take credit wholesale for the sounds of Graceland, but it's not an unfair comparison, and one worth considering as you listen. Still, Simon's goal was to create new musical expression free of political boundaries (such as the ongoing Apartheid) and at this, I think he succeeds, creating one of the most vibrant and diverse feeling albums I've ever heard. Exceptional.

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4

Great album, I loved that they used Ladysmith Black Mambazo in a lot of the songs. Had some very powerful subjects like moving forward after divorce, and the pain of losing everything in "Homeless". Also, cant ignore "You Can Call Me Al", great album, 8/10.

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3

Clearly the more talented of the duo, Paul Simon’s “Graceland”, is an album where I can understand why his solo career was so successful. Albeit, this album isn’t my favorite musically, it’s evident that Paul Simon’s talent was on full display here. Bands like Vampire Weekend clearly draw influence from this album, however stylistically just not my thing. Drawing influence from an African style, Louisiana jazz and all the accordion you can handle, this album makes its mark as one of Simon’s better solo offerings.

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3

liked it. good background music

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2

Ugh. Sanitised world music for middle class drones with no imagination and less soul. Horrible

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5

Cultural appropriation aside, this album is a tremendous feat in bringing together different influences - notably, African - to create a completely singular sound. Consummate production, especially in the bass and rhythm tracks.

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5

Probably my favorite album of all time. When I first heard it in 2012, this record changed how i listened to and thought about music. There are so many songwriting and production decisions here that just totally floored me, from the combination of the upbeat accordian grooves with totally programmed drums to the super melodic bass lines. What really made me become obssessed with this album, though, is how conversational and impromptu his vocal delivery is. There are sooo many lyrics on this album, and his phrasing throughout is very cluttered and erratic. It risks sounding clunky and awkward, but instead it makes this whole record feel unpredictable and lively. One of the few albums i wish i could hear again for the first time

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4

Clearly a great musician and an interesting pop sound. Really catchy songs. Not all of it is my vibe, but I can respect it. On one hand I think it's rad how Simon brought sounds of African musicians into his music and featured them in front of a wider audience, but at the same time, seeing him use their sound while recording in South Africa during aparthied and just throw his hands up and say effectively 'uhhh i don't know how to write protest songs' and making note of how black musicians would get anxious in late night recording sessions, and not doing much is dissappointing, especially given that he knew enough to try to hide his recording in south africa due to other cultural boycotts...

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3

I would listen to this while driving through rolling mountainous rural areas or while baking banana bread in a sunny kitchen with my grandma. Might also be good for dancing to in a low lit living room after drinking white wine. Overall, fosters a happy ambiance with memorable melodies and an artisan-craftsman-house vibe.

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3

My dad was big Simon and Garfunkel fan but somehow Graceland never came on his radar. I always wondered what my life would have been like if the sounds of this album had been played around the house in the mid 80s. (I probably would have hated it.) This album absolutely feels like the creative work of a middle-aged man who has hit a creative rut and has taken inspiration from other cultures in other to get his groove back. There are some good tunes but ultimately it feels a little overwrought.

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3

i am rather conflicted on how to approach my rating and review. i read deeply into the polarizing controversy with this album; it’s fascinating that this album is so deeply beloved when so much contention surrounds it. while the african music is gorgeous, it is not the place of a white westerner to steal and profit from it, let alone during apartheid. that being said, i cannot deny how amazing some tracks are—diamonds, al, graceland. those songs alone can explain why this album is so memorable, more than 35 years later.

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1

Ugh, more overrated music by a guy who appropriates African music to benefit himself. The music sucked, too

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1

I really, really didn't like this.

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1

Hmmm not a fan..

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1

This is almost aggressively bad. I can't stand either Simon's twee songwriting nor his powder-puff non-event of a voice. But the biggest crime is just how absolutely terrible this sounds, production wise. Crappy synth sounds clash with noise-gated drums and that weird farty bass sound that plagued the era. I can't believe this plastic, milquetoast grab bag of cheap pop and world music borrowings is considered a classic. Dogshit.

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1

Not my thing at all

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1

Absolutely not. Paul Simon has nothing to say for an hour. There is absolutely nothing interesting or noteworthy about this album. Skip it. Listening to the rest of the album has ruined "You Can Call Me Al." Absolute garbage.

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1

Weirdly country-ish and totally rubbish. Don't like his voice, the music is both nuts and terrible. No idea what's going on.

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1

for all the things from the 80s that people make fun of, it's wild to me that "aging rock/folk dudes find relevance by appropriating African music" isn't higher on the list. and people STILL hold this trend in high regard. Simon's voice, not really evolving past his folk days, sounds confused, sing-speaking over a semi-eclectic group of songs, ensuring he can ruin as many genres as efficiently as possible. were people clamoring for white guy beat poetry over zydeco music in the 80s? also holy shit the tone on that fretless bass is the absolute worst, it's almost impressive how they zeroed in on the single most nasal, farty midrange frequency and pushed that ALL the way up. I hate almost everything about this and that's not even including the nagging gross feelings about Simon heading to apartheid-era South Africa to plunder black music. Even with You Can Call Me Al being catchy, this album's lucky that I can't rate lower than 1 star.

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1

Absolutely nothing stuck with me. It was like I forgot I listened to it right after I listened to it. But remembered enough to know I didn’t want to hear it again.

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1

This album sucks. Paul Simon sucks.

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1

Please stop.

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1

bleck, not good.

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1

Not my cup of tea, didn't finish it.

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Absolutely terrible

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5

One of the best albums ever. Every song is a jam. Already listened to this album 100 times, but it’s still so good.

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5

Amazing album. One of my favourites.

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5

9/10

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5

Groovy, eclectic, and rich. Not much else I could wish for here.

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5

Paul Simon literally one of the GOATs

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5

Paul motherfucking Simon

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5

Great album, holds up so well.

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5

jag tyckte detta var klockrent. kulturell appropriering eller ej.

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5

9

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5

One of my all time favourite albums, every song is really good at a minimum and some are amazing!!

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5

One of the best

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5

loooove

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5

Fantastic message. great vibes. some tribal energy here. Loved it

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5

Likely one of the best albums of all-time. Such a showcase of talent.

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5

Reading about the album, apparently he heard a bootleg cassette of South African street music and got on a flight out there to record new sounds. What a extraordinary final product

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5

A wonderful album. This is such a sound.

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5

I love Simon & Garfunkel, and I love Simon. Funky, fun, and interesting sound.

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5

Wonderful

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5

10/10

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5

Great. Duh

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5

Just a fantastic album

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5

With the exception of "crazy love", this is a pretty perfect, timeless album to me. It's the kind of album that you can put on when you're on a long road trip.

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5

My favorite Paul Simon album ever

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5

Yeah, really f-ing good.

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5

I will always enjoy listening to this record.

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5

Excellent release that has been the reference point for several acts to come afterwards, such as Vampire Weekend. As we've moved further from the original release, some more unsavory aspects of the album have come to light, but overall has a very important place in widening the general populaces musical knowledge. Plus, You Can Call Me Al is a bop.

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5

hard to be objective about this one, since i've always loved it. i loved his up-yours by working with a black group from south africa during apartheit; i loved the music in general, and i honestly loved the swahili in particular. i spent the better part of a week reading along with the lyrics until i knew the intro Diamonds by heart.

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5

Bops on bops

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5

Grácil, exuberante y positivo. Creo que es de esos discos (y artista) que en nuestro círculo jamás se menciona y es una obra maestra que todos deberían conocer. Con 30 años de carrera se da el lujo de sacar su mejor disco. Lleno de mezclas inesperadas y sonidos que en su momento eran tan nuevos que crearon toda una sección en la tienda de discos con la cantidad de imitación que inspiró. Ritmos africanos, latinos, callejeros mezclados a la perfección con pop que no se siente vacío y, lo que a mí me impresiona más, echando la guitarra al fondo y dejando TODO el disco para que sea el bajo el líder musical. Una maravilla de los 80s.

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5

Might have to be a full marker for this one! Absolutely brilliant and rightly universally considered one of the best albums of all time. Bravo. So joyful - great for the beginning of the working week

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5

Wow, where has this album been my whole life? Very fun and engaging with top tier musicianship. I think it has the potential to be in my top 10 albums, but I'll have to give it a few more listens. Definitely a major influence for Vampire Weekend.

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5

You know what Paul, you can call me al

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5

Fighting it out for my personal top 10. We listened to this on family trips in the car. Still puts me in a great mood.

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5

Albüm başlangıcından sonuna kadar çok iyiydi amk. Özellikle giriş şarkısında good vibes vermeye başladı. Diamonds on the soles of her shoes deki bassline iç kıpratıyor. You can call me al daki synth hemen adamı zıplatıyor

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5

Discasooooo

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5

Bomb. Duh

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5

Classic.

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5

Great songwriting.

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5

Song tracks on this album reminds me of west African music like what was playing when I was in Burkina Faso. I had a nice walk around sunny kenilworth listening to P.Simon

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5

Beautifully diverse

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5

Classic

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5

Great album, already knew it

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5

OH MY! 😍🥰😍

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5

One of the greatest albums of all time.

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5

What a journey ! A nailed on 5*.

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5

Controversial for valid reasons, yes. But this album is solid and remains uniquely wonderful.

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5

A masterpiece from a proper musical genius.

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5

There are a few albums that you can play and listen all the way through, without feeling like skipping any tracks. This is one of those albums. I love this album. The music is great, and the lyrics are clever and often playful. I love the contributions from Ladysmith Black Mambazo, who help create some of my favorite tracks on this album ("Homeless", "Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes"). I also love the great hamonies from Linda Ronstadt on "Under African Skies". I've heard "You Can Call Me Al" so many times, and I'm not tired of it yet. This is an album that I recommend and share.

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5

So good

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5

Absolute classic

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5

One of my all time favourites.

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5

Done.

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5

Nice

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5

Great album. Nice chill, feel-good 80s pop that is genuinely interesting to listen to with Paul Simon's unique style with some popular bangers in the mix. You Can Call Me Al is, of course, a great track. Got it on vinyl - wouldn't have it if it wasn't very decent. 4.5 from me

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5

A five star classic album

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5

allround great album with a unique sounds and well written songs not much else to say here

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5

Call Me Al has been one of my favorite jams and most favorite music videos for years now. This album would get 4 stars just for that. The other songs are new to me, but are all infectiously good. Glad Paul went to Africa.

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5

Mon préféré de Paul Simon. Tellement bon 5/5

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5

5/5 Well produced and nice sounds

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5

I like it very much!!

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5

Great album.

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5

A classic album, with truly memorable melodies and lyrics.

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5

Mikil nostalgía, skemmtilegar sögur og frábær hljóðfæraleikur.

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5

Impressive. An amazing mix of african rhythms into folk-pop music with creativity and energy. Very cool how someone can start with a blank page and end up with music like this. Very enjoyable.

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5

An outstanding album by Paul Simon, arguably his best. The songs are perfectly crafted, with a rich, eclectic sound. It’s a clear labor of love for Simon, who worked with an extremely talented roster of musicians in South Africa and in the US. But it feels like a real collaboration between artists, not just Simon playing musical tourist. Simon’s exceptional songwriting is the icing on the cake, some of the best of his career. Musically, the songs are joyful, warm and engaging, with gorgeous arrangements. Hard to single out any one performance because it's all amazing. I can’t imagine many artists being able to pull off such an ambitious effort, but Simon delivers an album for the ages. Fave Songs: You Can Call Me All, Gumboots, Graceland, The Boy in the Bubble, Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes, That Was Your Mother

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5

Marvellously intelligent.

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5

My favorite of his, so far

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5

Brilliant.

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5

Love this album!

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5

A classic, even if Steve Berlin's story gives me pause...

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5

I prefer my Simon with a Garfunkel but this album is pretty close to faultless. Easy 5/5.

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5

I was introduced to this as a child and still listen to it regularly, especially on hot summer days. The lyrics are great and the music is joyous, and it still sounds fresh after all these years. The blend of African and American music was clearly very influential on future artists.

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5

I've got some catching up to do so I'm glad to get another album that I know very well. There's so much to love about this album I don't know where to begin, just fills me with so much joy and excitement every time I hear it

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5

Любимейший альбом

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5

This album is amazing

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5

I heard about this album on reddit. People rated this album as a 5 stars album, saying it was a "family trip" favorite. I listened to it from there and found it magical. Now I listened to it when I travel and I really love it :)

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5

Amazing album. 5/5. I just had Ladysmith Black Mambazo come up in my list a couple of days ago and immediately thought, I wanted to hear this album - and here it is.

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5

Whenever the topic of cultural appropriation comes up, this album gets a mention. Maybe I'm naive, or probably just nostalgic, I saw this in a positive way - would I ever have been exposed to South African music styles? I still enjoy this album, upbeat, bass, love it! (again, nostalgia!)

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5

Superb. All the elements are finally balanced between commercial and experimental. This is an album that rewards you from the first listen. An absolute timeless classic that still sounds fresh 35 years later.

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5

Paul Simon is the real deal and always was.

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5

A classic album full of love, life and passion, has any album so popular been so controversial? Critics argue Simon broke the South Africa boycott to make this album and took a musical genre he had no right to play; his supporters argue he crossed the colour line and collaborated with African artists, helping to hasten the end of apartheid. It is for each listener to determine for themselves how they feel about this album. Judged on the product alone, however, this is an exquisitely crafted collection of songs with Simon at the height of his lyrical powers and an assembly of musicians playing beautiful melodies and memorable polyrhythms. A great singalong album, a road trip album, a unique album in its blend of Western song writing and African music (is Simon flying too close to the sun, evoking Elvis, a white artist accused of stealing black music?) with so many highlights- Boy in the Bubble, Diamonds in the Soles of her Shoes, You Can Call Me Al, Graceland -what a quartet of singles! - Whatever else, Simon took a massive risk with this album and what could have been a colossal, laughable failure turned out to be one of the greatest albums of all time.

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5

Such a great album. Interesting, cohesive, original. It can draw you in or just kinda be there, comfortably, like your favorite blanket warming you up on a cold winter's night.

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5

The best.

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5

Great album by an amazing singer/songwriter. Great experimentation with the blending of different styles from South Africa.

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5

This album is fantastic. Except for "You can call me Al" that single song kept me from listening to this masterpiece for decades. Not that it is a bad song. It is an example of record companies back in the day pushing singles that did not match the rest of an albums's aesthetics.

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5

Classic

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5

Ok so it might be a bit problematic but still great

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5

One of my favorites. I hadn't listened to it in a while, so it was good to get back into it.

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5

9/10. Spectacular album. Graceland and You Can Call Me Al are the obvious stand-outs, and everything else seemed solid as well. Could easily go up to a 10 on a relisten, only reason I am holding off is because nothing really blew me away on the more filler-y songs, but I think that might have just been me multitasking homework and forgetting about it.

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5

A fantastic album that has been on my playlist since it was released.

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5

omg so wonderful

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5

classic.

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5

Listened Before? N This turned out to be an amazing album. It feels like the 80s, but it's timeless in its musical composition and eclectic sound. Everyone is familiar with You can Call Me Al, but the rest of the record is just more of the same! I never knew. This is why I am doing this project. Added to Library? Y Songs added to playlist: You Can Call Me Al, Graceland

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5

Brilliant 👏

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5

5 stars for the bass player alone

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5

When this arrived as my album of the day today I was thrilled. It’s been a long while since I’ve listened to this album and my love for it hasn’t changed. Now added to my favourites and will be listened to again and again

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5

Another album I’ve not actively listened to in ages. Dug out the vinyl. Drums, bass and accordion really drives the rhythms. Loved it. But it’s his vocals and the production that adds some grace, depth and lightness of touch when it’s needed. Really need to listen to this more. Staying on the turntable for tomorrow.

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5

Game over. Best Paul Simon Album ever IMO. I love the African influence and recognition given to those contributors. Is and will always be one of my favorite albums, period.

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5

great songs on this album. so many good things have been said about this album. song "Homeless' is great, with a great lyrics. remember when this premiered, Paul said "this is my best album" and everyone was wishing for more music from him and Garfunkal. when it came out, everyone was amazed with it. different types of music and instruments. maybe this started more globalization of music, seemingly it was ahead of its time.

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5

Overall I really liked this album. I think it has some good folk vibes, and I was reading about it so I learned a bit about South African township music, which the album was heavily inspired from. I appreciate that Paul Simon used prominent artists that were a part of South African township music as features in his album. My favorite track on the album as a whole is probably Graceland, the title track. Overall, very strong, nice to listen to, but not life-changing. This one got the big like.

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5

Immaculate. One of the most beautiful albums ever. 10/10 1. Diamonds on the Souls of Her Shoes 2. Graceland 3. The Boy in the Bubble

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5

Een van mijn favoriete albums! Vroeger als kind ooit gehoord bij de ouders van een goede vriend. Nu nog steeds kan ik elk nummer waarderen. Misschien voor mij wel het beste album dat ik ken. *****

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5

Love this one

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5

Banger

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5

Really great album. Love how visionary it was for the time...really nothing like it. 4.5/5

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5

Rating: A- or 91% A gem of an album. So difficult to choose a single track, seamless in its world beat / afro beat soundscapes and fun filled escapades. Paul Simon's best solo work hands down. Picks: The Boy in the Bubble, Graceland, Gumboots, Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes, Crazy. Well almost the whole darn album.

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5

All-time classic. Still sounds great even after all these years. 5 stars.

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5

This album is mostly just great but there's a couple of real clunkers. The bad songs pull this down from a 5 but just a little. 4.5 stars.

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5

So so great!!

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5

Great Album, can't help but to feel happy and in an elevated spirit when listening to those upbeat African rythms. Paul's great voice and folk style singing is the perfect bridge to make this combo easy listening

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5

This has been my favourite album for a very long time. Paul’s words and his elegant voice mixed with the fun, joy, beauty and celebration of South African music, mixed with American roots of blues and country, made for a historical album and a cultural moment in the history of popular music. It will always be an important album and meets every definition of “must hear”.

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5

Rare poetry

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5

Kiinnostavia elementtejä tuotettuna maksimaalisen hiotuksi kokonaisuudeksi. Tätä paremmin tehtyjä poppislevyjä en oo montaa kuullut. Tykkään myös tekstien vaatimattoman optimistisesta tyylistä -- tuntuu, että tässä on mies, joka elämän vaikeuksien jälkeen suunnistaa kohti valoa. 5/5

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5

9.5/10

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5

My first cassette. Who knew I would select such a timeless opus magnum? 1000 stars.

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5

Brilliant album showcasing rhythms and styles from Africa.

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5

I could listen to this album everyday. Absolutely love the sound mixed with so many cultural musical expressions being celebrated.

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4

Fantastiskt! FN hade infört reseförbud till Sydafrika pga Apartheid. Det sket Paul i. Han åkte dit och gjorde albumet tillsammans med lokala artister ändå. Nästan en 5:a.

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4

Pretty close to a 5 here... love this album. An all time classic most will agree!

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4

Very good, closer to 4.3ish.

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4

Kuuntelin autoa ajellessa, aurinkoisena sunnuntaipäivänä ja oli todella osuva levy hetkeen. Uudelleen kuunteluun tämäkin.

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4

Enjoyed very much. In all honesty, I feel I would need to listen more to give a 5, but I shall be revisiting this album.

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4

Enjoyed very much. In all honesty, I feel I would need to listen more to give a 5, but I shall be revisiting this album.

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4

3,5/5

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4

solid album. Some bummer tracks but great overall

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4

I love his writing and storytelling but not a huge fan of some of the music - That Was Your Mother was particularly not good; I think the accordion is going in the shit instrument pile along with the banjo and fiddle. I did like the way he folded in some of the Africa influences though, especially at the start of Diamonds on Soles of Her Shoes. Obviously You Can Call Me Al is one of the all time great Ric's tunes, the bass breakdown deserves five stars alone. Four stars all things considered.

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4

7/10 Best songs: diamonds on the soles of my shoes, you can call me Al. Interesting mix of African influences and electric pop. I like the percussion. Not sure I'm a Paul Simon fan now but very chill album - maybe good for a summer roadtrip.

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4

8

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4

P7io.

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4

Very Good

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4

Solid. All good songs

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4

7/10 on my first listen...

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4

Great album!

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4

Super varied and interesting choice of instrumentation

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4

This is an excellently put together album, expertly combining Simon's folk rock stylings with South African street music. It is an exceptionally high-quality recording and well deserving of a five star rating. ...but I'm not going to give it a five star rating because no matter how much he tries to disguise it, it is still a folk album and folk is bad. Get folked, Paul Simon.

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4

A classic. Some great tunes and some interesting African sounds Favorite Track(s): “Diamonds in the Souls of Her Shoes” and “You Can Call Me Al”

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4

Graceland is a nice track. A couple other songs had nice instrumentals and also a big variety of vocals.

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4

it's a classic, but there are a few week tracks.

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4

Always very listenable

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4

A classic

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4

Good balance between chill and energetic.

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4

Not massively familiar other than the big ones. Nice.

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4

Extremely pleasant. Tenho quase certeza que ja ouvi Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes enquanto estava on hold numa ligacao num call center.

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4

'You can call me Al' gives me ptsd to shitty undergrad club nights. Other than that, enjoyable. I appreciate the influence of south african music

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4

Sounds like Vampire Weekend

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4

Background with book...didnt really notice it on

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4

I'd forgotten how radical this was

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4

With Graceland, Paul Simon hit on the idea of combining his always perceptive songwriting with the little-heard mbaqanga music of South Africa, creating a fascinating hybrid that re-enchanted his old audience and earned him a new one. An enormously successful record, Graceland became the standard against which subsequent musical experiments by major artists were measured.

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4

This was a good album with an interesting story.

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4

Solid album. 4/5

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4

A nice album that blended tones of genres into a nice little pop package

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4

Digger viben på noen av sangene, Graceland, Diamonds on the soles of her shoes og Crazy love. Resten var okay. Chill album å høre på med venner.

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4

Veldig koselig album! Har alltid likt stemmen til Paul Simon, han setter et veldig karakteristisk preg på musikken. Veldig gjenkjennelig. Likte den litt folkelige og \"world music\" stilen han har gående. Beste sanger: I Know What I know, Homeless, You Can Call Me Al (så klart)

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4

Im Bus habe ich es nicht gefühlt, aber in Ruhe zuhause schon, muss noch mehr auf die Texte achten

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4

A solid album with some interesting influences. 8.2/10

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4

I don't think I've heard this full album, but I know I'll like it at least moderately well since it's Paul Simon. I know the tune for song 6! Giving it a 4, cuz it's Paul Simon and because of the last track is a story of it.

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4

Good one

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4

Been meaning to listen for a while. Overall very enjoyable

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4

Classic! Fantastiska texter, underbara sydafrikanska influenser, superfina sockersöta Simon. Bästa låt: Graceland. "The Mississippi Delta/Was shining like a National guitar". HUR inte älska???

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4

4.5

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4

Favourite songs: The Boy in the Bubble, You Can Call Me Al, All Around the World or the Myth of Fingerprints.

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4

This is the first album in which I knew most of the songs! Maybe it’s because of that nostalgic familiarity, but overall I really enjoyed this album. I am a huge fan of the South African beats that Paul Simon employed and his witty lyrics about his personal life (specifically his divorce from Carrie Fisher) as well as global injustices.

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4

4/5

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4

Més enllà de les crítiques sobre apropiacions o abusos, ningú pot negar que es tracta d'un disc de pop soberbi, innovador i molt inspirat. No només va donar a conèixer nous sons i revitalitzar la carrera de Simon, també és el lloc on trobar cançons tan increïbles com 'You Can Call Me Al'. 'Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes' o la mateixa 'Graceland'

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4

I go back and forth between “Paul Simon is so good” and “okay, Paul Simon..I get it”

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4

Was good in its day.

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4

Första 8 låtar var en go variation från allt annat, sen blev det väldigt mycket Paul Simon

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4

Un disco que hoy nacería cancelado por apropiación. A mí me gustó, una versatilidad armoniosa, como que es un recorrido guiado de cómo puede sonar la música desde muchos lados con orientación sobre todo pop. A veces incluso se oye lúdico. En fin, disfrutable. Canciones fav: "I Know What I Know", "Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes", "You Can Call Me Al" y "All Around the World or the Myth of Fingerprints" 8.5/10

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4

An top artist in top form demonstrates what innovation and exploration means. Yet, at the same time, I find I’m unable to connect with the music as much as I can with other Paul Simon stuff.

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4

“In yoking this intricate dance music to his sophisticated New Yorker sensibility, Simon created a bridge that neither pandered to nor patronised either culture.”

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4

Do I think about the great sounding sounds, or think about cultural appropriation? I think he does a good job of paying homage to the culture.

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4

Homelessness was a terrible song. Boy in a Bubble reminded me of Come With Me Now; accordions are underrated. I did like the more popular songs on this album. You can call me Al is a classic.

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4

Great album. Starts very strong and goes strong for most of its runtime but I feel like the last 2 tracks are considerably worse than the rest.

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4

Fun album

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4

Good album obviously and the source of some of the most recognizable Paul Simon songs in existence, but I think it gets dragged just a little bit by its use of tymphonic 80s drums. Can't really BLAME it for that, but it is an element I don't love. Need to revisit.

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4

Absolutely brilliant. An uplifting classic that I'd guaranteed to put you in a good mood despite some of its darker undertones and subject matter.

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4

Ready for a 5. Big fan. Didn't quite get there though. Grrat music, love the album cover, but I think some of the songs need some time to come around.

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4

v good, 4/5

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4

It was good!

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4

I had only heard one song from this before. I liked it, and it was interesting to learn about. Although the African influence was cool, I did get a little tired of the constant pep.

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4

Nothing says stealing black music and making it white like Graceland. A beautiful album, with coherent lyrics, made by a proper musician. Well done, Mr Simon.

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4

Possibly his best album. Nostalgic

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4

Still a fresh sounding album

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4

I had great expectations for this based on memory. This LP could be summarized as 1) a bunch of mediocre songs made good by a few South African musicians or 2) an excellent album featuring excellent ZAR musicians. I choose #2 but acknowledge that #1 is also true. The songs (e,g. Homeless) featuring Ladysmith Black Mambazo  are excellent and this is a good amount of a cappella for an album. You Can Call Me Al was the big hit but for me it's not the strong point of the album. Graceland, the other hit, is quite good and made so by Ray Phiri's guitar playing in the Soweto style. Diamonds on the Soles ... is a great tune that would be average were it not for the excellent intro by LBM. Likewise I Know What I Know would be a fairly lame song without the ZAR  guitars and bass. It's true,  the lyrics about the cinematographers party would not, by themselves, have carried this song.  Crazy Love Vol II continues with the ZAR sounding guitar riffs. There was lots of politics around this LP. It's said that Paul should not have broken the boycott by  going to ZAR to record. This argument makes sense. He probably should also have taken a pass on having Linda Ronstadt sing on the album. There are also accusations that Paul took advantage of the musicians. That sounds like a nonsensical  argument made by the wingnut section of any Socialist party and was probably led by the likes of Billy Bragg. I bought a lot of records by South African musicians like  Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Joe Mafela, Miriam Makeba, Mahlathini and the Mahotella Queens, etc.   Paul Simon wasn't directly responsible for my liking their music but I would not likely have found material from LBM  in the record stores were it not for Paul. Paul created tremendous interest in and benefits for South African musicians.  --

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4

216 albums in, it's clear this book isn't going to introduce anyone to African music. So, instead of reviewing this very good album, here are some great African albums for those who like what Simon's collaborators bring to the party. Omona Wapi, Franco & Rochereau (1976); The Music In My Head, Various (1998); The Guitar Paradise of East Africa, Various (1991); The Indetructible Beat of Soweto, Various (1985); Egpyt, Youssou N'Dour (2004); Rough Guide to the Music of the Sahara, Various (2005); Specialist In All Styles, Orchesta Baobab (2002).

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4

Fun to listen to. 8/10

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4

the singles are life changing, the rest of the album is pretty damn good. 8/10

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4

Really pretty fun to listen to. Wavered between a four and a five on this but it's just not quite got enough pull to it to make me want to listen to it again and again.

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4

Приятный мелодичный альбом. Из-за небольшой продолжительности не сильно приедается. Поставил бы около 3.5

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4

This a good one

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4

Fun to listen to. Kinda have "You Can Call Me Al" stuck in my head now haha. Really interesting to read the Wikipedia article and about him going to Africa and all the hubbub that followed; how it tied it with political and social things happening at the time.

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4

Such a delightful stretch from the normal folkie stuff. Paul Simon is definitely multi talented

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4

I forgot how much I like this album. You Can Call Me Al still fills me with glee. How can it be that I still remember all the words?

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4

Very good

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4

I KNOW this album is iconic, but I had never heard it. In fact, my total knowledge of Simon's solo work is pretty well limited to just a handful of songs, most of which are on this album. I was eager to give it a full listen. The ways Simon and his team found to blend African and zydeco music with his more typical folk sound was not only revolutionary for its time, but nothing short of artful and masterful. In listening to this, I knew I was hearing something that was unique, and is probably still fairly unique in its execution, even today. The music and album craftsmanship at work here is undeniably top notch. On one hand, Simon did westerners a great favor by making them aware of the beauty of African music, but on the other hand, this could just as easily be interpreted as a white musician with a slumping career using an "unknown, exotic" sound to revive said career, building it on the backs of South Africans who more than likely did not get their fair share in pay and recognition in exchange for what Simon took from them. This really is an album that people should hear before they die, as there is nothing else quite like it. I really did enjoy it from an idealistic "one world" perspective, but that's not the world we live in, as much as I wish it was. Realistically, Simon knowingly did something great AND horrible in making this album.

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4

23rd February 2022 Listened at home while working before driving home to glos in preparation for Ali’s wedding. Combination of folk, pop and African influences as Paul Simon’s wonderful songwriting hits it’s heights. Anchored by you can call me Al and diamonds on the soles of her shoes. 4.5 if I could.

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4

Lots of nods to Africa in the creation of this album, liked it more than I thought I would

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4

❤️

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4

I didn't really know the background of this album. But as I was listening, I kept thinking this sounds a little bit like what would happen if Paul Simon sang the Lion King soundtrack. Read up on the history of the album and it's South African roots and it made a lot more sense.

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4

I enjoy the complexity of the lyrics. Pauls vocal skills are the dominant strength I take from this album

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4

Surprenant comme écoute. L'appréciation de la World Beat n'est pas chose naturelle pour moi. Par contre ici, avec le style d'écriture un peu plus pop/folk de Paul Simon, ça donne des mélodies accrocheuses avec des sonorités auxquelles je suis moins habituées. C'est rafraîchissant et ça fonctionne bien. L'époque vient par contre affecter négativement certains éléments comme par exemple les deux fills de drum au début de I Know What I Know. Ce son de drum électronique sur ce fill rentre un peu à la crowbar juste avant le premier couplet. Très étrange à chaque écoute. La pièce You Can Call Me Al aussi est très marquée dans cette époque des années 80, mais elle fonctionne tellement. J'adore cette pièce et encore plus le vidéoclip avec Chevy Chase. Cette pièce à elle seule ajoute une étoile à mon appréciation de cet album. Ça m'a demandé quelques écoutes pour apprivoiser et mieux apprécier l'album, mais dans son ensemble je crois que c'est un album important et je vais sûrement y revenir à l'occasion. Pièces préférées: You Can Call Me Al, Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes, I Know What I Know

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4

Brought South African Rhythms to my ears. Classic album.

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4

Has a very 80's feel. although can't quite say what that means, is different from every other album on this list so far and I enjoyed listening so it gets a 4

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4

Add a start for Homeless

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4

Ack så mysigt!

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4

Mjög hár fjarki. Algjört fimmunart.

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4

Frábær plata. Er ad geyma fimmuna. Annars fengi hun 4,5.

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4

Tykkään tosi paljon Paulin kasuaalista lauluäänestä. Ja vaikka yleensä vähän karsastan kasarityylistä positiivisuutta, niin tässä toimii. Muutama erinomainen kipale.

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4

A great Pail Simon album. Love the world music he incorporates.

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4

I enjoyed very much.

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4

I love this album dearly, but need time in between listens to refresh the magic, hence the 4. A lyrical genius, that Paul bloke. Clever wee bugger!

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4

This was absolutely unexpected for me. Totally different from Simon's previous works, with a lot of influence from other song styles, and very nice songs. The kind of album that shines in the crowd of mediocre albums around. However, for me, it's still far from a perfect record. It lacks a little bit of Simon's personality. It's easy to note the importance of the album and how it resounds even these days in pop music.

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3

I mostly avoided this album because I've never been a huge fan of "You Can Call Me Al". It's a fine record with some of the problems I have with that song being carried over here (some instruments sound dated as heck). Not really my favorite, but I can see people enjoying it. Favorite tracks: "Homeless", "Gumboots", "I Know What I Want"

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3

I knew a bit about the making of this album, but not the whole story, which was really interesting. Unfortunately, reading the story was a better experience than listening to the album. It's very 80s, with fadeouts on nearly every song. And the percussion - for a genre that's supposed to be built on the bass line and not the drum set, why is it so damn forward in the mix? For a collaboration it featured a bit too much Paul Simon, which feels weird to say, but nevertheless I think it's true. Points for creativity and for introducing the world to a different kind of music. Best track: You Can Call Me Al

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3

Appreciate it’s a classic but I don’t particularly enjoy Paul Simon. An easy listen. He went to extreme lengths to record this in Africa due to the conflict so kudos for that

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3

Peppy, catchy, lots of Cajun sound. I always thought "Call me Al" was pretty corny but the album is catch for sure. Would be good to listen to with the kids someday.

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3

Talented artist, not my cup of tea. Graceland(song) was good.

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3

Nice enough.

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3

interesting influences of African music. Good music but not exactly my thing

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3

De pronto es demasiado de ese sonido ochentero muy feliz, optimista y con mucho reverb, trompetas de sintetizador y escalas de bajo con slap. La rola de Zydeco (Gumboots) me gustó y esperaba algo más de las colaboraciones con Linda Rondstadt y Los Lobos.

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3

No tenía idea de que estuvo casado con Carrie Fisher ni que fuera el de Simon and Garfunkel, conocía la rola obvia y la verdad es que siempre creí que era afroamericano. Me gustó mas la version temprana de 'All around the world' que la del disco

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3

Nice instrumentation and fantastic vocal harmonies. The influence of African music is ever present in the album and were easily the highlight. Felt a bit repetitive in areas. Enjoyable experience but did not really grip me. In no rush to revisit

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3

This, after "From Elvis in Memphis", it's the kind of thing that makes you question: is it truly random? Lot of coincidences in a set of only 1001. I remember when this album was absolutely everywhere. It's excellent but maybe a tad lightweight.

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3

Meh, okay.

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3

I had heard things about this album but had not listened to it. I actually thought it was older, like 60's. Can definitely hear the 80's in it though. It was a good listen, I liked a number of the songs. At times it felt disgustingly pleasant, a bit too much. I liked "Graceland" the most probably.

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3

Songs sound the same..... you can call me al

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3

Un disco extremadamente variado. Valiente uso del acordeón que la verdad queda perfecto. Vibra muy alegre y bastante entretenido. No es mi tipo de música y me parece una agradable sorpresa, aunque tampoco me vuela la cabeza. Sólido 3.5 pero se queda en 3. Tracks: Diamonds on the soles of her shoes, The boy in the bubble.

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3

Typ world music. Call me Al är OK - resten meh...

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3

Folk muy bien logrado en arreglos y coros. Si no te gusta el género es complicado pero vale la pena. No le pongo 4 porque la voz es plana. Rol: gumboots

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3

Discazo!! A++

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3

O ile z solowego Simona slyszalem wczesniej albumik samonazwanczy, to z Grafunkelem troche posluchalem, ale ten albumik calkowicie odbiega od tego z czym kojarzylem tego grajka, opening na harmonii z grubej rury, bo przeciez tytul albumiku graceland, czyli hamerykanska wioska gra i huczy i taki klimat sie w dwoch pierwszych trakach, ale potem niespodziewanie klimaty murzynskie sie odpalaja, pamietam ze nawet na tym tytularnym materiale mial czesto murzynskie drumsy, ale tutaj doslownie czuc, ze ten album byl tworzony w RPA, bebnienie, trabienie, chorkowanie, teraz juz wiem skad taka popularnosc simona wsrod przedstawicieli zlotej ery rapersowania, bo ilu bialych artystow ma intra od big daddy kane i bizziego marka w swoich teledyskach, troche w tym wszystkim albumik traci na lirycznosci, bo album z zamyslu ma byc lekki i przyjemny, na plejke leci tytulowy graceland i the boy in the bubble

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3

hmmmmmmm didn't particularly need any more paul simon... Some of it was good, he is after all a talented musician. I actually liked the alternate unreleased version of Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes but does that count if it's not really on the OG album??

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3

Graceland by Paul Simon - I have very mixed feelings about this album. All the songs are well put together, but the first two songs sound a lot like jokes. Even though they use atypical instruments and are played with a certain lack of precision, the songs work pretty well- not that I’m really a fan. I only ended skipping a few songs. I’m interested in why the 80’s had lots of African (maybe “Hollywood” African) influenced or incorporated music, this album has a bunch. I think that Paul Simon is the butt of jokes or is generally snubbed by people, but don’t really know why that is- did he later come out as a nazi sympathizer or something?

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3

It wasn't my favorite but it had some cool spots in it.

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3

More nostalgia for the geezer. This album was HUGEly popular when released, and i remember most of these. Pretty good hummable adult pop. The African themed songs were viewed as pretty cutting edge, which seems surprising to me now. 3.5 stars, but rounding down because I’m feeling crabby.

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3

I think I like Paul Simon, but he really layers a lot of nonsense into his music.

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3

call me al is a banger

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3

Classic mellow album

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3

Hit or miss for me.

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3

Graceland is an album with great influence from African music and with the help of African musicians and Paul Simons songwriting, this album is indeed a classic and have clearly inspired many. This isn’t my favourite musically, but I'm always up for a dance to "You Can Call me Al" anytime.

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3

Særegen vokal, digger den! Sikkert "objektivt" bedre enn en 3er, men må innrømme at jeg ble ganske lei av Afrika-greiene. Fortsatt mye kule låter da! Favoritter: graceland, i know what i know, call me al (åpenbart)

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3

Not too shabby

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3

Didn’t finish but was good a little soft

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3

Gutes Album. Für meinen Geschmack nicht sonderlich einzigartig.

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3

Minus 2 Sterne einfach weil mir das gewisse Garfunkel gefehlt hat

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3

It's fine

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3

On my first listen I wasn’t too sure about this one but once I got to “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes” the summer vibes were flowing and the aesthetic of this album started to click. Top tracks were “Diamonds...”, “You Can Call Me Al”, and “Crazy Love, Vol. II” which I’m pretty sure is the song that Vampire Weekend modeled their entire sound after.

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3

elvis died on a toilet in graceland and i bet he didnt gave a crap and neither do i about this album that much lmao

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3

Pros: love their mix of country (pedal steel and chugging drums) and Africa-indebted vibes Cons: tad long Not so hot take: Vampire Weekend (especially their latest output and their jammy live shows) owe their career to this album 🌟🌟🌟

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3

I love all of the different genres morphed into all of the songs. Diamonds on the soles of her shoes is absolutely incredible. Always liked Simon and Garfunkle, but never listened to much of the solo stuff. Will revisit Paul Simon, and this album

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3

Sasvim dobar album

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3

Interesting, varied production. Pretty fun pop album even if it's not the type of thing I'd normally listen to.

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3

Another three attempts at the famous Graceland album… to me it’s cohesive and an easy listen. But it doesn’t reach any particular heights. Most of the instrumentals are good. I’m eagerly awaiting Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” album.

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3

Thought I would like it better but wasn’t bad

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3

Enjoyed it way more than I thought. Strong 3.5

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3

some gooders I knew like "call me al". cool to hear the south african influence, but all in all not an overly memorable album

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3

A few good songs, but not my favorite album from Paul

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3

Meh

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3

Upbeat but synth-y

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3

Decent classic album

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3

Классная обложка

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3

The beginning was great

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3

Loved it once but now realise how shitty Paul Simon was to the musicians. Plagiarism and appropriation with terrific lyrics

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3

Good album... Production/sound quality is lacking.

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3

Ok aber bisschen nervig am Ende

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3

A real mixed bag. Loved some, some was shit. His voice is a bit meh.

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3

I sort of enjoyed it.

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3

The rave reviews make me feel like there's something I'm missing out on, or perhaps this particular brand of... 80's African-inspired folk(?) just isn't for me. It's okay.

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3

Really catchy songs with pretty hooks, wonderful lyrics giving each song an enjoyable listening experience. However the album can get pretty boring in parts. Really dislike the bass sound though, and the massive amount of reverb on each instrument. But that’s the 80s I guess! 3/5 - A fun ride.

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3

Pleasant listening. At the time it was released, it brought a group of talented but often overlooked musicians from Southern Africa to a huge audience, with follow on success for many. A gentle and beautiful collections of songs.

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3

7/10

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3

Not as good as his self titled, but still good.

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3

great basslines, some catchy tunes

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3

Different and interesting

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3

I see what Vampire Weekend was talking about.

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3

Sooooo The very first song had me saying this sounds like "you can call me Al" . It carries on and I just keep thinking g why do all these songs sound like an extension of that son..then lo and behold! That fucking song comes on. I'm sorry, I don't get the raves about this album. Its not bad but it's also not great. A solid 3.

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3

nothing spectacular. some songs were good, others were bad. it just wasn’t intriguing.

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3

On one hand this is an album with some great songs the opened the door to people listening to more South African artists. On the other it can be seen as musical colonialism and didn't do much more for the black South Africans apart from steal their tunes. I am torn as I would like to believe Paul Simon went into this project with the best intentions and the legacy of this album is a mostly positive one.

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3

Bueno

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3

More upbeat than BOTW. Lot of familiar tunes.

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3

Had quite an interesting sound, seemed almost like sea shanties at points. Quite interesting, but not my favourite.

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3

Call me allll

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3

Maybe a 3.5, I actually liked this much mroe than I thought I would. very 80's in parts though.

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3

I don’t understand why this is rated so high. I didn’t hate it, but can’t say much stood out to me other than it being generic like world music. 3

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3

Best Song: I Know What I Know. Nice storytelling style to communicate a very slice-of-life ordinariness, while being backed by some great South African music. Worst Song: Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes. Sometimes writers can enjoy the sound of a lyric they've a little too much, and repeat it to the point where it loses its lustre. This is one of those times. Overall: Quirky little album, with Simon telling these quaint little stories over varied African rhythms. The juxtaposition didn't really feel like it added much though, and the whole was no more than the sum of its parts. I often found myself wondering why I wouldn't just listen to the African artists themselves, without Simon overtop, as they were often the most interesting part of the music.

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3

Bien aimé mon écoute, le mix zeideco pop africain est particulier c'est certain que c'est original. La grosse bass fretless ne m'a pas gossé étrangement, les grooves sont cool, c'est rarement convenu ou inintéressant, pour un disque pop ça voyage pas mal. J'écouterais pas tout les jours mais je ne rechignerais pas d'en trouver une copie pas trop cher usagé mettons

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3

A left turn of a Paul Simon album that eschews his usual warm, bare-bones guitar-based style for a distinctly unique take on the 80s. A wealth of genres and styles are sampled on this LP, but none clash or overwhelm in the way that most 80s records tend to do; this is still Simon's sound and songwriting, just clad in the sounds of its time.

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3

The good: there's something irresistable about this album. The middle of it especially is very happy, and upbeat. Paul Simon's singing and songwriting in particular shines like nothing else. The bad: The heavy reverb, super 80s drums and overall MIDI sound of the opening track had me a little disheartened and it got better as the album went on, but the last couple of songs are... ugh. I can't for the life of me get over those dumb 80s heavy reverb snare hits. Combine that with hoompah drumming and it's just very off putting. The ugly: The bass lines that sound like wet farts. Paul Simon's singing is just so damn happy, though. It just about manages to balance out those negatives. Still, not something I'd listen to again, apart from some select songs. 3/5

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3

Some of the songs were familiar, Call Me Al is probably the most well known song. I have actually heard this entire album previously. I like Simon and Garfunkel and Paul Simon by himself can be good too. There is nothing wrong with the album, but I just don't see myself picking to listen to this album again.

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3

The music is ok. It is easy to listen to. Not very exciting and it doesn't invoke anything in me. I may listen to it again.

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3

I like it. Även om det är rätt jobbigt ibland

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3

Aika kasarit soundithan tässä on! Ja kunnon hittibangerii! Melkeen enemmän itse tykkään vanhemmasta tuotannosta. Sit en oikeen osaa olla noista afrokuorohommista oikeen mitään mieltä. Hämmentävää! 3/5

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3

I always thought this was an album from the early 70s, not the late 80s.. damn. Kind of a weird combination of synths and African singing. I've had the "Ladysmith Black Mambazo" album on here before and I quite enjoyed that one, but I think the song with them on this album was my least favorite one. Cultural appropriation? I don't know, I haven't read enough about the production of this album to know how he treated them and hell, I'm not the one to decide if this is or isn't cultural appropriation. I'm just happy to be exposed to South African music because I would never seek music like this on my own. Overall nice to hear something different because I've been in an uninteresting meh music limbo the past two weeks. A strong 3/5 I think.

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3

Weird

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2

Eclectic and folky. Not really my style but it gives off a certain feeling. Maybe a relisten at some time. Not bad, just not my style. Some new wave in there too. It's like a salad with a dressing I'm not a fan of.

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2

Meh

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2

Didn’t grab my attention. Expected to get more from it. South African sound was nice to hear.

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2

Definitely like Simon & Garfunkel more than Paul Simon solo. Not my type of music here, all the parts of pop music that I hate. ;) I am sure there are people who really like Paul Simon but, not for me. Oh god I just had a flashback to college freshman year where I knew a guy named Simon and whenever I saw him I said "Hey Simon, where's Garfunkel?". I can't believe he didn't punch me, I was an annoying piece of shit. I thought I was being clever.

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2

I skipped it after a few tracks. Not for me

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2

Bold to start with accordion. There's either a keyboard playing bass sounds or they have out the most annoying filter on the bass. It's compressed and almost "elastic" feeling.

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2

Terrible synth.

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2

Just fine, nothing particularly interesting.

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2

When the topic of cultural appropriation comes up at dinner parties I bet Paul Simon breaks into a cold sweat that soaks him through his tiny coat. The guy’s an undeniable wordsmith and I appreciate the storytelling, just not nearly as much as I loathe every note of the bass guitars on this record.

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2

Nicht so legendär.

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2

I am not a Paul Simon fan. And I am not a fan of this album. This one gets 2 stars because I know it's important.

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2

Diamonds On The Soles of her shoes, the rest is meh

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2

Meh

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2

I appreciate who PS is but it’s boring

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2

IF YOU BE MY BODYGUARD!!!!

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2

This album is great really only for one thing: its percussion. It was the feature I enjoyed the most in this album as all other parts were annoying. His "say-singing" is not good, and the backing music generally was just odd. It's just "world music" which wasn't that enjoyable to listen to all in all. Favorite track: The Boy in the Bubble

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2

I do not like Paul Simon. But there’s some good songs on here. I’m solely basing my review on the singles. Graceland. Solid. You Can Call Me Al. Chevy Chase endorsed. Really solid. The rest? Never will listen.

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2

What I Did on My Summer Vacation After My Divorce, by Paul Simon: "Visited Africa; took their music. Bought several accordions, too many accordions. Made even more money." I kind of feel bad for favoring the singles I've already heard on a lot of these albums so far, but You Can Call Me Al is not only a guilty pleasure bop, but also likely the best collection of Simon's thoughts on getting old as well as his deluxe cultural appropriation getaway in Apartheid-era South Africa. There are other moments where his ruminations feel inspired, but they're outnumbered by the hokey and upstaged by Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Key Tracks: You Can Call Me Al, Homeless, Crazy Love, Vol. II

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2

🎵🎵🎵 Under the sea 🎵🎵🎵

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2

increasingly got more “ok I really don’t like this, why is this guitar making me so irritated”

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2

I sensed a connection to Jah Wobble, went back, and realized that my reaction to this type of impresario project is largely the same. Except with less affection in this case. Slight, uneven melding of musical material (feels like halves). Doesn't have a standout track. Not offensively bad.

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2

Would have given it a 1 but you can call me al makes up for it. Rest of the songs are brutal

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2

I've heard this album before. I'm familiar with a few of the songs but didn't really enjoy it.

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2

Questo disco ha dei problemi, non si capisce bene quale fosse l’idea di Paul Simon, molti pezzi richiamano sonorità africane mentre verso la fine del disco si va verso una sonorità country vecchio stile mentre il primo pezzo è una specie di folk ritmato. La copertina invece ha un cavaliere in una raffigurazione medievale non si capisce bene il perché. Non credo ci sia un problema nel tentare di contaminare la propria musica ma come viene fatto in questo disco non mi convince affatto. Sembra come se Simon abbia preso delle cose che non gli appartengono culturalmente senza capirle realmente e si ha l’idea che i musicisti, che sembrano di qualità, vengano danneggiati da questa mancanza di scambio. Musicalmente penso che uno dei problemi maggiori sia sulla ritmica perché i pezzi sono scritti imponendo una visione occidentale di essa e questo finisce per appiattire molte delle performance degli ospiti.

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2

America, 80s, Folk rock/pop + Warm = Male, - Folk, Alike, Boring, Oldish, NFM {0/12} [2/5]

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2

Was okay

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2

Meh. Decent enough background music.

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2

I do not like Simon's voice or the style in which he sings. Some cool instrumentals, but this isn't for me.

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2

Lame

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2

While familiar with Simon & Garfunkel as a group, I have never listened to Paul's solo stuff. I wasn't quite sure what to expect after reading a little bit about the making of this record, but it did make me a bit more curious about it. I found myself wanting to like this album more than I actually did. It's a bit cheesy at times, like Disney soundtrack cheesy. Even though I appreciate this album, it irritates the shit out of me for being so damn happy.

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2

Post colonial appropriation at its best. Paul Simon takes fine musicians and mumbles some bullshit over them. An incoherent and messy album with no real ideas beyond hey I really like 'their' stuff. The best song being homeless untill Paul jumps in at the end and screws it up.

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2

Eh, I’ve tried to get into him. This wasn’t it

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2

I managed to listen to the entire album and I confirmed that I'm just not a fan of Paul Simon's brand of folk/pop/rock. Something about his voice and his style just doesn't work for me.

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2

The amalgamation of different sounds and styles, which I thought I wouldn’t like, works well, though I’m still not a fan of his voice or lyrics. They sound contrived. For example, I can’t picture him saying “hey senorita” to anyone – Bob Dylan or Neil Young or Tom Waits could pull it off, but not Paul Simon, who seems more upper east side. Overall, he’s too soft and radio-friendly for me.

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2

One for the yuppies and highly problematic at the time. A couple of stand out tracks - but even they are limpid and uninteresting. Overall it's over-filled with instrumentation and rhythms.

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2

2/5 pretty forgetable.

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2

I grew up listening to Simon & Garfunkel - to clarify: I almost literally learned to read by following along with the lyrics on the back of their albums. So yes - a big fan of them (most notably their final 2 albums), was I. Additionally, as a little kid in the 70s it was impossible to not be exposed to a shittonne (scientific measurement, that) of solo Paul Simon on the radio. Which for me wasn't the same without Art but still - very good songs that helped define a lot of my childhood. But - and I know I'm in the minority here - I never could connect with this one. Sure I was in high school and in my peak hard rock / metal fandom but I (thought I) could still appreciate the finer musical arts, but I rejected this *huge* album at the time. So what better time to do a reappraisal of an album in so many "top 10 alltime" lists... And I know I'm wrong here ...but I still don't like it. What about this album is so cold to me even amidst the many radio hits that should at this point hit me with some degree of nostalgic fondness? I think on one level the overly-wordy tendency of Paul in these songs is almost an overt turnoff; of course he has made a career of storytelling in his songs but something in these is just too much. Also the music ... there's no passion, no energy or mystery...all of it is just not exciting to me in any way; I want so much to like this with the incorporation of African musical cultures but the progressions on nearly every song are terribly repetitive and none of it carries anywhere near the same musical weight as his earlier material. Maybe it just carries too much of that 80s sterile shine. Honestly I just think it's the songwriting. For a very lazy one word review - I did and still do just find it all terribly boring. I won't argue the consensus on this, I know it's a beloved album, but it'll never hit me. Personal pass. 3/10 2 stars.

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2

Some fun tracks, nothing to write home about. S/o to Vampire Weekend for making a whole career out of ripping off this record.

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2

Pop rock tepidness

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2

Uh

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2

A blend of dated 80s sounds and casual cultural appropriation. Sounds like a Sting record.

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2

It seems harsh giving this renowned classic two stars but I honestly recoil when I listen to it. Diamonds and Al are good songs though.

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2

probably wont revisit

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2

Not so good album, linear and without great songs

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2

J’aurais probablement abandonné avant la fin si ce n’était pas Paul Simon. Ça vieilli très mal. Je pense que ce n’est pas inintéressant par contre, une fois qu’on arrive à faire abstraction de l’instrumentation.

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2

I miss Garfunkel.

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1

Sé que Paul Simon es así como una leyenda de la música, pero simplemente este tipo de música no es mi tipo. Me pareció extremadamente aburrido... -_-zZzZz

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1

Me rehuso a escuchar este disco. Perdón. Le doy una estrella.

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Penso che l'unico modo per definire questo album è: una baracconata. Simon ha fatto praticamente "La mia africa" di Boris, ha preso vari musicisti africani e non, tutti generalmente talentuosi, e gli ha fatto fare un album al posto suo senza probabilmente andare oltre una comprensione superficiale. In certi casi è veramente troppo palese, tipo "Homeless", dove Simon esce dal bagno durante gli ultimi 20 secondi di registrazione per dire le sue due cosette in modo da firmare il pezzo. E comunque è meglio così, perché quando Simon è più presente nei pezzi il risultato è a dir poco discutibile e più di una volta m'ha strappato una risata che non credo fosse l'effetto sperato da Simon. Un'altra nota che non possono non fare: ma che c'entra la copertina? Comunque per me sto album è tipo un 2, e volevo dare 2, però poi me so reso conto che c'è il suo nome sulla copertina e sto votando la parte sua dell'album e quindi è 1.

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1

Dai, alla fine ci siamo divertiti!

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1

Душная хуита!

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