Legendary singer-songwriter Paul Simon returns with his first album of new material in 5 years with “Stranger To Stranger.”
The last time Simon hit the record racks was with 2011’s “So Beautiful Or So What” which for me was his best collection of songs since “Graceland” and a modern masterpiece.
“Stranger To Stranger” picks up pretty much where “So Beautiful Or So What” left off with Simon utilizing rhythms and instrumentations that made his groundbreaking “Graceland” album a multiplatinum success.
Returning to the producer’s chair is Simon’s long time collaborator Roy Halee (Bookends, Bridge Over Troubled Water) and you can feel the creative vibe between these two veterans jumping out of the vinyl grooves.
The album comes in 2 editions a standard format containing 11 tracks and a deluxe edition with 16 tracks. The bonus tracks on this collection are for completists only and in my opinion the standard edition is the more cohesive album listening experience.
I am deducting a couple stars for the inclusion of 2 instrumentals. Paul Simon is one of if not the greatest lyricist of all-time so for me any song that doesn’t have his poetic words and phrasing doesn’t belong on a Simon collection.
If you love Simon’s classic “Graceland” and are a fan of his most recent work “Surprise” and “So Beautiful Or So What” then “Stranger To Stranger” will definitely be the perfect fit in your Summer playlist.
Pat Francis currently hosts the popular comedy/music podcast “Rock Solid,” called 1 of the 8 great music podcasts to put in your ears by USA Today and featuring artists such as Melissa Etheridge, Sammy Hagar and Susanna Hoffs. His frequent appearances on Jimmy Pardo’s top rated podcast “Never Not Funny” are fan favorites. Pat began his entertainment career as a stand-up comic in Chicago, IL. After touring the country and performing in 42 states at comedy clubs and colleges, he relocated to Los Angeles, CA. There he appeared as a comedian on Comedy Central, AMC, the UCB and is a yearly regular at the San Francisco Sketchfest. For the past 5 years he has also served as Co-Host of the yearly event Pardcast-A-Thon which to date has raised over 700,000 for Smile Train. When not entertaining people in person he also makes his living as a Story Producer for reality television programs. It is also important to know that Pat is a monkey in a human mask.