Saturday, March 29, 2014

51. Bridge over Troubled water (1970) Simon and Garfunkle




1. Bridge Over Troubled Water
2. El Condor Pasa (If I Could)
3. Cecilia
4. Keep The Customer Satisfied
5. So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright
6. The Boxer
7. Baby Driver
8. The Only Living Boy In New York
9. Why Don't You Write Me
10. Bye Bye Love
11. Song For The Asking
12. Feuilles-O
13. Bridge Over Troubled Water

There are a few artists on this list whose music I was extremely familiar with but I had never sat down and actually listened to one of their albums all the way through. I treated them as singles artists and had never taken the opportunity to listen to their music in the context that it was created in and in the setting that its creators wanted it to be admired.

Simon and Garfunkle and one of the bands (or two of the people) whose creative output had only come to me in radio play. I can't remember ever actively seeking their stuff out but that doesn't mean I can't sing a huge number of their tracks word for word. Their career fell in a heap (a small heap, two guys don't make a large heap) before I was born but they were played on the radio regularly before I was created and haven't stopped in the 40 years I've been on the earth. They're currently playing on a radio somewhere. 

Listening to their albums and actually hearing them all the way through has made me realise two things: the first is that their songs are actually better when you're not listening to them. And the same applies to their albums. 

I like the title track of this album. Who doesn't? Its beautiful and the Funkle has a magnificent voice. It's a wonderful melody and it's perfectly sung but it sort of wears out its welcome. When it arrives it's hard not to get excited but when it leaves it's kind of a relief. At almost five minutes, its long for a pop track and it sort of repetitive. The same goes for The Boxer and El Condor Pasa which are the other huge hits that everyone knows. They're great to sing along to but my attention wanders by about the halfway mark and I don't really have any desire to listen to it again any time soon.

It's hard to put my finger on what they problem is. I'm not sure if years of radio play have nullified their impact or Simon is great at writing thirty second ditties which don't really translate well into an entire song length. Or maybe it's the production which tends to emphasise the vocals and not much else leaving little to latch on to. Perhaps it's a combination of the three. I'm not sure but either way I never feel as excited listening to Simon and Garfunkle albums as I do reading the track list and anticipating what's coming. I see songs like The Boxer and think "I love that song" but when I actually hear it I'm reminded that I don't really. I certainly don't hate it but I definitely don't love it. 

The possible exception to this rule is Cecilia which is far and away their best track. It's a perfect Two minutes 55 seconds and the one song from their repertoire which I've got on my MP3 player. There's something incredibly addictive about Cecilia even if you've never actually met anyone named Cecilia or even if you know someone of that name that you actively despise you still can't help but love the track. In fact I'd go so far as to say that even if there was someone named Cecilia who stalked you ever day of your life and made it her personal project to make your life hell in every possible way... you'd still smile when this song came on the radio. In fact that only people that I imagine don't like this song are people named Cecilia who must have people sing it to them every time they introduce themselves. That would get draining after a while and I imagine the same thing happens to people named Michelle, Lola and Jack Flash.

Cecilia is great but the other singles just get a bit tiring after a while. And if you don't love the singles then I'm not sure what reason you'd have for putting on this album. The songs that aren't hits aren't really worth hearing. Grab yourself a compilation album and you can enjoy this album's highlights and the best of the rest of their short career besides. 

Favourite Amazon Customer Review Quote: "Good CD but in poor condition, ejects itself, says "err", stops in mid song, plays same song 2XD, etc."

-That doesn't sound like a bad CD that sounds like a CD that's possessed. Can you exorcise CD's?

So does this keep the Customer satisfied? Let me know below.

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