Known as the better half of Simon and Garfunkel and for his gutsy lyrics, 70-year old Paul Simon returns with Graceland as he celebrates the 25th Anniversary of this award-winning album.
This album promises the same great tracks as its second release back in 1994, but with one major exception: it concludes with an interview with the man himself as he relates the story of Graceland, the song and the album.
Like a master story-teller, Paul Simon cleverly weaves together stories of faith, hope, and redemption, and juxtaposes them with the political fracas of the 80s and the cultural boycott against apartheid in South Africa.
While some may see Graceland as a political statement piece more than anything, the album is certainly not lacking great entertainment vigour and music. Cleverly composed and choreographed, the Grammy-winning album bears Paul Simon’s signature blend of world music, comprising the tribal musical styles of the South African Zulu, a cappella, and contemporary pop.
While most people would be familiar with You Can Call Me Al, made popular by a music video starring veteran actor, Chevy Chase and its dancey rhythm, the other tracks in the album are just as good. I personally enjoy the pleated sounds of the accordian in The Boy in the Bubble and the moving lyrics of Homeless, a wonderful acapella piece that was done with the South African vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo. That song’s got soul!
So fancy a trip to the vast South African plains and a walk through time? Get Graceland.
I give Paul Simon’s Graceland four out of five.
Watch my review of Paul Simon’s Graceland on AM Live! Channel NewsAsia