There Goes Rhymin’ Simon
(1973), 9/10
After his stripped down self-titled album, There Goes Rhymin’ Simon is a much lusher record, and it’s the solo album that’s most reminiscent of his Simon and Garfunkel days. Like the duo records, it’s primarily carefully constructed studio pop, but Simon picks up some new influences with gospel on ‘Loves Me Like A Rock’ and New Orleans on ‘Take Me To The Mardi Gras’, with Claude Jeter on memorable falsetto vocals. There’s also the lush Quincy Jones arranged ‘Something So Right’, while the centerpiece of the record is the Bach-inspired ‘American Tune’, articulating Simon’s frustration at Nixon’s re-election. The Muscle Shoals rhythm section plays on some of the songs, giving the single ‘Kodachrome’ a complex beat that elevates it above pop fluff. There’s one misstep in the awkward ‘Was A Sunny Day’, with its oblique references to Simon’s beloved fifties hits and Simon’s strange affected vocals, but otherwise even the minor material like ‘St. Judy’s Comet’ and ‘Learn How To Fall’ is solid. There Goes Rhymin’ Simon is the highlight of Simon’s early solo career.

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