Release Date: Sep 7, 2018
Record label: Legacy
Genre(s): Singer/Songwriter, Pop/Rock, Contemporary Singer/Songwriter, Contemporary Pop/Rock
With his wonderful recent albums - 2011's So Beautiful Or So What and 2016's Stranger To Stranger - Paul Simon has emphatically proven that creativity needn't diminish in an artist's advanced years. Unlike plenty of his contemporaries, he's displayed a restless creative urge and seeming reluctance to repeat himself, creating new sonic worlds for his deft, subtle songs. So the news that his latest, In The Blue Light, would comprise new recordings of previously released songs may have alarmed fans fearful of the sort of "just add strings" cash cow in vogue among acts of his vintage.
Paul Simon designed In the Blue Light as a way to focus attention on songs of his that he believed never got the acknowledgment they deserved. It's a reflective project, so it's fitting that it arrived in September of 2018, as Simon was in the process of wrapping up a farewell tour. By their nature, farewell tours are exercises in nostalgia, but self-cover albums offer an artist an opportunity to surprise.
A s he prepares to mark his retirement from touring with a show in his native Queens, New York, later this month, 76-year-old Paul Simon's 14th solo album revisits 10 songs from his vast catalogue that he felt were "almost right, or overlooked", and gives them a treatment he compares to "a new coat of paint on the walls of an old family home". Other artists such as Kate Bush and Peter Gabriel have tried this approach, and Simon certainly brings his best to it. The stellar band includes jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and guitarist Bill Frissell.