Simon & Garfunkel | Bookends

 
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Family Average: 6/7

Look below and see what the family had to say.

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This album is full of stories, I love stories. Like other Meg, I too discovered the track “America” from Almost Famous. I love that one, it's a good story, lots of moments mentioned, and all the references to places and things it makes you really able to picture it all.  I’ve always loved the moment, “Toss me a cigarette, I think there's one in my raincoat/ We smoked the last one an hour ago.” So subtle and human and it circles back to the pack of cigarettes they mention in the beginning. 

I think one of my favorite things to ever happen on an album is the track “Voices of Old People” which is quite literally just old people’s voices, talking about whatever, that they recorded in New York and Los Angeles. 

This is another album that brought Jack Kerouac to mind. 

The opening line of “Punky’s Dilemma” is fantastic as well, “Wish I was a Kellogg’s cornflake.” Gotta love that statement. I like the instrumentals too, like the bassline in the beginning of “Fakin It.” We conclude with “At the Zoo” which is just a really fun track, they really take ya to the zoo with those lyrics. 

5/7

 

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A lot of my experience with Simon and Garfunfkel came from my love of Almost Famous, the notoriety of “Mrs. Robinson,” and the fact I adopted “hello darkness, my old friend” as a personal mantra. I’ve rarely listened to an album all the way through, and can now say with assurance that old S&G are masters of emotion. Brace yourself for a solid punch in the heartstrings. 

This album is for crying. And then dancing. And then crying again. Buckle up for a whole lot of anxiety and uncertainty, carried by just the right amount of lightness. It’s narrative, cinematic in scope, and chock full of beautiful, beautiful little harmonies. 

6/7

 
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The 60’s contain with them some of my favorite examples of innovation in music. This album serves as a spectacular example of that. Simon and Garfunkel had already proved themselves as songwriters through their four preceding albums. They could have easily gone on strumming out sing-song-y campfire jams, but they did not. Instead they used their positions in popular culture to put out an album that was going to challenge people a little bit. Don’t get  me wrong this is not some avant garde crazy art album, but they injected a little freak out into their wholesome sound. All the hallmarks of experimentation in the 60’s is here. There are psychedelic swirling noises, dizzying harmonies, even a bit where old people talk. That’s right old people talking! All of this is carefully placed along the backdrop of an otherwise easy going Simon and Garfunkel album.

 

5/7

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Most would agree that this is some of the best songwriting of our time. S & G take ordinary conversations and turn them into poetry. New Yorker’s have a knack for making the extraordinary out of the ordinary, (Warhol and his Campbell Soup art) S & G turn silly phrases into catchy tunes. “Wish I was an English muffin 'Bout to make the most out of a toaster. I'd ease myself down, Comin' up brown”. America and Mrs. Robinson are both time tested classics, they present more examples of this whimsical phrasing.  This album transitioned the East Coast Duo from their traditional Folk Music roots to more of a pop sound, and the radio stations played the hell out of this album. 

 

7/7      Laugh about it, shout about it When you've got to choose Every way you look at this you lose

 





 
Sean Maldjian