An Introduction to Simon and Garfunkel

Simon and Garfunkel were my first favourite musical group, and the first I covered on Aphoristic Album Reviews. Paul Simon wrote the songs, while Art Garfunkel provided gorgeous harmony vocals. They released five albums, before breaking up in 1970; here’s an overview of their career in five songs.

They started their career as Tom and Jerry, but their first recording as Simon and Garfunkel was 1964’s Wednesday Morning 3 A.M.. It sounds like the work of a generic sixties folk act, apart from a couple of strong Paul Simon songs, notably the original acoustic version of ‘The Sound of Silence’:

CBS producer Tom Wilson added electric overdubs to the track, creating a #1 hit, and the duo reformed and quickly produced an accompanying album. Sounds of Silence is patchy, but ‘April Come She Will’ is a pretty album track:

They had more time to work on their third album, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme. While it’s weighed down by some pretentious Paul Simon lyrics, the more detailed arrangements are gorgeous, especially this reworking of a traditional folk tune:

Their fourth album, Bookends, stands up as their most consistent work. ‘Punky’s Dilemma’ is a charming, low-key track:

The group’s last studio album was 1970’s Bridge Over Troubled Water – tensions between the duo arose as Garfunkel was filming Catch-22 in Mexico, while Simon worked on the album. The gorgeous ‘The Only Living Boy In New York’ is a thinly veiled account of Simon’s frustrations:

For a more in-depth analysis of Simon and Garfunkel, and full album reviews, please visit https://albumreviews.blog/reviews/simon-and-garfunkel/

What’s your favourite Simon and Garfunkel song?

An Introduction to Josh Rouse

Josh Rouse is a Nebraskan born singer-songwriter, and is the 49th artist to be covered on Aphoristic Album Reviews. Rouse’s thoughtful songs are in the wrong era to find a mass audience, while his fondness for pop hooks and straightforward sensibilities don’t win him friends at Pitchfork. So Rouse is stuck in musical limbo, too clever for the mainstream but too white bread for hipsters, and he’s limited to fans of heartfelt, catchy song writing.While Rouse made his debut in 1998 with Dressed Up Like Nebraska, he has an ability to deliver joyful pieces of 1970’s derived AM Gold pop. Here’s an overview of his career in five songs:

From his 1998 debut Dressed Up Like Nebraska, ‘Flair’ is representative of his more introspective early Indie-folk albums:

From his 2003 album 1972, ‘Comeback (Light Therapy) is a love song to the sun:

From 2005’s Nashville, ‘Winter From The Hamptons’ shows Rouse’s influence from The Smiths, one of his favourite bands when he was growing up:

Also from Nashville, ‘Sad Eyes’ is a contemplative piano ballad that really takes off in its second half:

In 2006, Rouse relocated to Spain, and his subsequent albums are often lighter and airier. ‘It Looks Like Love’ from 2006’s Subtítulo sounds like an effortless 1970’s radio hit with a some Spanish influence:

For reviews of Rouse’s individual albums, please visit https://albumreviews.blog/reviews/josh-rouse