November 01, 2011
Sony Music
World, Adult Contemporary, Singer/Songwriter, Worldbeat, Soft Rock, Folk-Rock, Contemporary Pop/Rock, Album Rock, Psychedelic

Album Review

The title makes plain the intention of Paul Simon on this 2011 double-disc set: the focus is not on the hits but the songs, to the extent that his most famous song is not performed either by him solo or with Art Garfunkel, it is sung by Aretha Franklin, a selection that suggests this compilation will be more idiosyncratic than it is. Many of the songs that are Simon’s solo staples -- “Mother and Child Reunion,” “Kodachrome,” “American Tune,” “Late in the Evening,” “Still Crazy After All These Years,” “Graceland,” “The Boy in the Bubble” -- are here, enough to almost camouflage the big songs that are missing in action, including “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,” “Duncan,” “Slip Slidin’ Away,” and “You Can Call Me Al.” All these are casualties of a concept that allows for Simon to spend the entirety of the second disc on albums released since 1990, a move that fits the aesthetic -- there’s no dip in quality -- but is sure to disgruntle listeners who only want the songs they know by heart. But there are plenty of compilations for those kind of fans; for listeners who want to get a strong overview of Simon the writer, containing many but not all of his best songs, Songwriter is a solid choice.
Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. The Sound of Silence [Live][#]
  2. The Boxer [Live]
  3. Bridge Over Troubled Water
  4. Mother and Child Reunion
  5. Tenderness
  6. Peace Like a River
  7. American Tune
  8. Kodachrome
  9. Something So Right
  10. Late in the Evening
  11. Train in the Distance
  12. Hearts and Bones
  13. Still Crazy After All These Years
  14. René and Georgette Magritte with their Dog After the War
  15. Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes
  16. The Boy In The Bubble
  17. Graceland
  18. Obvious Child
  19. Further To Fly
  20. The Cool, Cool River
  21. Spirit Voices
  22. Born In Puerto Rico
  23. Quality
  24. Darling Lorraine
  25. Look At That
  26. Señorita with a Necklace of Tears
  27. That's Me
  28. Another Galaxy
  29. Father and Daughter
  30. Rewrite
  31. Love and Hard Times
  32. So Beautiful or So What