Our friends at MP3.com recently relaunched their site, and to celebrate we’re helping them give away some fantastic new songs for free! Today, we’re featuring “So Beautiful Or So What” from Paul Simon.
“You know, life is what you make of it,” [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Paul Simon[/lastfm] sings on the title track from his latest album, So Beautiful or So What. It’s a fitting statement for the musician who, with a career that now spans over half a century, has become something of an elemental force in American music.
On So Beautiful or So What, Simon shows that he is taking his own advice, presenting a collection of songs that showcases his ability to continue producing great music while still experimenting to keep things fresh.
The album’s title track is the last song on the album and encapsulates the reasons why Simon’s newest venture is successful. It’s not anything you would expect from the man who was half of [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Simon and Garfunkel[/lastfm], or the guy who once sang about “Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard.” Simon’s music here sounds grizzled and worldly, where it was once wide-eyed and playful.
The track opens with gritty blues guitar looping over clapping and floor-stomping percussion. Simon’s voice, however, sounds nimble and tender. During the chorus, when the guitar drops out and an ethereal organ swells up, Simon repeats the refrain: “So beautiful or so what?” When he sings it then, it’s as if he is posing two different options to the listener, two different attitudes to take. It’s clear which he chose.
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