Stranger To Stranger
Producers: Paul Simon and Roy Halee
Review: Dave Leary
If there were a Mount Rushmore of American songwriters, Paul Simon would have to be on it. This is his first album since 2011’s So Beautiful or So What. At 74, Simon is still in top form. The opening track “The Werewolf” showcases his wry wit and inventive phrasing.
The line” ignorance and arrogance the national debate” perfectly describes our current political climate. The refrain “the werewolf is coming” builds behind heavy percussion.
“Wristband” starts out as a fun tune about a musician getting locked out of his own show and turns into a social commentary about the poor and middle class feeling disenfranchised. Once again, there is a lot of rhythm to this track.
Another standout song “Cool Papa Bell” sounds like it would’ve fit on Graceland or The Rhythm of the Saints. It’s an unusual song lyrically but somehow works.
This album runs less than 40 minutes and the time flies by. (There is an also a deluxe edition with 5 extra songs, including a live version of “Wristband”). Simon is in fine voice as both a singer and songwriter. The production is interesting throughout with unique sounds and rhythms. This is a stellar collection that adds to Simon’s legacy as an essential American artist.
01. The Werewolf
03. The Clock
04. Street Angel
05. Stranger To Stranger
06. In A Parade
07. Proof Of Love
08. In The Garden Of Edie
09. The Riverbank
10. Cool Papa Bell
11. Insomniac’s Lullaby