Paul Simon Songwriter

Paul Simon Songwriter
As a year slowly slips away, there's that inevitable shift towards the type of releases that supposedly make great gifts for the music lover in your life. This usually involves a wealth of compilations and greatest hits albums, most of which are nothing more than cynical packages of material already available, and Songwriter is a prime example. There's no denying that Paul Simon is a great songwriter and has an extensive back catalogue well worth delving into, which is why it's been done quite a few times already. The twist that Songwriter supposedly brings to the table is that it was compiled by the man himself, and he chose some of his lesser-known songs, which haven't received enough attention. Therein lies the problem: anyone looking for Paul Simon's most familiar songs will be disappointed by the lack of "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard" and "You Can Call Me Al." The focus on his later work, including three songs from 2011's So Beautiful or So What, is puzzling, as is the inclusion of Aretha Franklin's version of "Bridge Over Troubled Water." Songwriter is a messy compilation that does a poor job presenting Simon at his best, even if does hit the bull's-eye from time to time. (Legacy)