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There Goes Rhymin' Simon [Bonus Tracks]

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Paul Simon 7/13/2004

Review

Retaining the buoyant musical feel of Paul Simon, but employing a more produced sound, There Goes Rhymin' Simon found Paul Simon writing and performing with assurance and venturing into soulful and R&B-oriented music. Simon returned to the kind of vocal pyrotechnics heard on the Simon & Garfunkel records by using gospel singers. On "Love Me Like a Rock" and "Tenderness" (which sounded as though it could have been written to Art Garfunkel), the Dixie Hummingbirds sang prominent backup vocals, and on "Take Me to the Mardi Gras," Reverend Claude Jeter contributed a falsetto part that Garfunkel could have handled, though not as warmly. For several tracks, Simon traveled to the Muscle Shoals Sound Studios to play with its house band, getting a variety of styles, from the gospel of "Love Me Like a Rock" to the Dixieland of "Mardi Gras." Simon was so confident that he even included a major ballad statement of the kind he used to give Garfunkel to sing: "American Tune" was his musical State of the Union, circa 1973, but this time Simon was up to making his big statements in his own voice. Though that song spoke of "the age's most uncertain hour," otherwise Rhymin' Simon was a collection of largely positive, optimistic songs of faith, romance, and commitment, concluding, appropriately, with a lullaby ("St. Judy's Comet") and a declaration of maternal love ("Loves Me Like a Rock") -- in other words, another mother-and-child reunion that made Paul Simon and There Goes Rhymin' Simon bookend masterpieces Simon would not improve upon (despite some valiant attempts) until Graceland in 1986. [In 2004, Warner Strategic Marketing reissued Simon's studio albums as remastered editions with bonus tracks, packaged in a cardboard digipack. The remastering on There Goes Rhymin' Simon is as excellent as it is on Paul Simon -- it's crystal clear, yet warm, easily the best-sounding version of this album yet pressed. Rhymin' Simon contains four previously unreleased bonus tracks. The first is "Let Me Live in Your City" -- billed as a "work-in-progress," it's an early version of "Something So Right" with a different chorus. The remainder of the bonus tracks are rather revelatory solo acoustic demos of "Take Me to the Mardi Gras," "American Tune" (which is unfinished), and "Loves Me Like a Rock" (which contains a slightly different final verse).] ~ William Ruhlmann
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Kodachrome Paul Simon 3:30
  3. 2 Tenderness Paul Simon 2:52
  4. 3 Take Me to the Mardi Gras Paul Simon 3:25
  5. 4 Something So Right Paul Simon 4:31
  6. 5 One Man's Ceiling Is Another Man's Floor Paul Simon 3:43
  7. 6 American Tune Paul Simon 3:43
  8. 7 Was a Sunny Day Paul Simon 3:40
  9. 8 Learn How to Fall Paul Simon 2:43
  10. 9 St. Judy's Comet Paul Simon 3:18
  11. 10 Loves Me Like a Rock Paul Simon 3:30
  12. 11 Let Me Live in Your City [Previously Unreleased][Work-In-Progress] Paul Simon 4:17
  13. 12 Take Me to the Mardi Gras [Acoustic Demo][Previously Unreleased] Paul Simon 2:26
  14. 13 American Tune [Unfinished Demo][Previously Unreleased] Paul Simon 3:59
  15. 14 Loves Me Like a Rock [Acoustic Demo][Previously Unreleased] Paul Simon 3:22

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