Simon has called this album "the best work I’ve done in 20 years.” I wouldn't know if that's true or not since I haven't heard any of his music since Graceland. There are musical influences from around the world, but it isn't a world music album. Albeit brief, this is a good, melodic pop release. Most of the tracks wouldn't be out of place on Graceland, which is fine with me. Released earlier this year, the album is now getting placed on a few "Best of 2011" lists, including (not surprisingly) Rolling Stone's list, coming in at #3. These songs about mortality from an aging musician are perfect for an aging hipster like myself.
Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #4 (Apr 30, 2011)
Tracks: Only 10 tracks in 38 minutes. I don't skip any tracks, but my favorites are Getting Ready For Christmas Day, The Afterlife, Rewrite, and Love And Hard Times.
Bonus DVD: The DVD contains 3 selections. The first is a 8 minute "making of" vignette, the second is the music video for Getting Ready For Christmas Day. Both of these are readily available on YouTube. The final selection is an audio-only recording of a studio rehearsal of the title track, which isn't terribly different from the CD version. I'm glad I didn't pay extra for this "Deluxe Limited Edition" or I would have been greatly disappointed.
Personal Memory Associated with this CD: I went into Hastings with the intent of buying the new releases from The Smithereens and The Cars, but found this disc on sale instead. It was an impulse buy that worked out for me. This CD kept me company during some travels around Texas in May of this year.
Previously revisited for the blog:
The Concert in Central Park (1982)