Paul Simon’s ‘So Beautiful or So What’ is his twelfth studio album recorded at his cottage In Connecticut and released on April 8, 2011 by Hear Music.
Track Listing : 1.Getting Ready For Christmas Day (Paul Simon) – 04:06 . [Incl. Excerpts From A 1941 Sermon By Reverend J. M. Gates] . 2.The Afterlife (Paul Simon) – 03:40 . 3.Dazzling Blue (Paul Simon) – 04:32 . 4.Rewrite (Paul Simon) – 03:49 . 5.Love And Hard Times (Paul Simon) – 04:09 . 6.Love Is Eternal Sacred Light (Paul Simon) – 04:02 . [Incl. Excerpts From “Train Whistle Blues”] . 7.Amulet (Paul Simon) – 01:36 . 8.Questions For The Angels (Paul Simon) – 03:49 . 9.Love And Blessings (Paul Simon) – 04:18 . [Incl. Excerpts From “Golden Gate Gospel Train” By The Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet – 1938] . 10.So Beautiful Or So What (Paul Simon) – 04:07
Musicians : Paul Simon – Bells, Glockenspiel, Percussion, Vocals, Whistle, Guitars . Mary Abt – Clarinet . Chris Bear – Electronics . Sara Cutler – Flute, Harp . Desiree Elsevier – Viola . David Finck – Bass . Steve Gorn – Bansuri . Skip La Plante – Gong, Harp, Wind Chimes . Diane Lesser – Horn . Karaikudi R. Mani – Ensemble Percussion, Vocal Percussion . Elizabeth Mann – Flute . Vincent Nguini – Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar . Jim Oblon – Bass, Drums, Electric Guitar, Slide Guitar, Percussion . Charles Pillow – Clarinet . Mick Rossi – Piano . Steve Shehan – Angklung, Bass, Brushes, Crotale, Cymbals, Djembe, Glass Harp, Resonator, Saz, Stick And Talking Drum . Yacouba Sissoko – Kora . Pamela Sklar – Flute . Etienne Stadwijk – Celeste . Joshua Swift – Dobro . Dr. Michael White – Clarinet . Gabe Witcher – Fiddle . Nancy Zeltsman – Marimba . Lois Martin – Viola . Vincent Lionti – Viola . Richard Locker – Celli . Jeanne Leblanc – Celli . Edie Brickell – Background Vocals . Doyle Lawson – Background Vocals . Lulu Simon – Background Vocals
Production : Produced By Phil Ramone, Paul Simon . Gil Goldstein . Andy Smith – Engineer . Greg Calbi – Mastering . Phil Ramone – Mixing
Arrangements : Gil Goldstein
Package : Elvis Costello – Liner Notes . Geoff Gans – Art Direction . Sven Geier – Cover Image . Kevin Mazur – Band Photo . Mark Seliger – Photography
Recorded 2010 – 2011 At Simon’S Cottage In New Canaan, Connecticut.
Released On April 8, 2011 By Hear Music.
Because So Beautiful or So What is a Paul Simon record, disbelieve the promotional material: far from abjuring his much-publicized tendency to write “rhythm first,” these largely acoustic ditties rely upon a compensatory melodic herky-jerkiness, as if XTC had attempted Apple Venus in 1984. […]
The sound of So Beautiful is a kaleidoscope that moves from throbbing Graceland guitar to South Asian grooves on tablas to gentle ballads that incorporate harps, to outright rockers that are nevertheless flavored with bluegrass elements or even subtle atmospherics such as the sound of ringing phones, an old sermon, or an atonal glockenspiel. […]
Paul Simon is dead and awaiting a glimpse of the divine. He’s filled out the form and he’s stood in the queue. The anteroom of the beyond, it turns out, is rather like the endless bureaucratic interzone of the living […]