Paul Simon (Warner Bros.)
The old SCTV comedy show once parodied Perry Como by depicting the dulcet-toned singer as so mellow he sang from bed. Simon’s latest, steeped in the Brazilian beat and hypnotic, repeating guitar phrases of 1990’s The Rhythm of the Saints, may inspire more interest from nappers than Napster. The restful tone is apt: Simon, who turns 59 on Oct. 13, is either thinking a lot about the prone position or planning a move to Nebraska. “I am heading for a place of quiet,” he sings on “Quiet,” a chilling dirge, “where the sage and sweet grass grow.” Mostly, though, he is okay with looming geezerdom. In “Old,” he muses that “wisdom is old…. God is old.” In the jaunty “Look at That,” he’s flip: “You might learn something, yeah, you never know—but anyway, you’ve got to go.” The title track (“May 12 angels guard you…. Maybe that’s a waste of angels”) is a high point. His most ambitious tune is the moving “Darling Lorraine,” which traces a love affair from flirtation to marriage and death.
Bottom Line: Tiring, after all these years