In the Blue Light
On the 7th of September 2018, Paul Simon, former member of the duo 'Simon and Garfunkel', released his 14th studio album, 'In the Blue Light'. The 76-year-old singer, song-writer and actor said in an interview, 'This album consists of songs that I thought were almost right, or were odd enough to be overlooked the first time around'. Simon adapts these 10 neglected songs from his past solo catalogue by changing the lyrics and modifying arrangements and harmony structures, the process of which is described by Simon as 'a new coat of paint on the walls of an old family home'. In creating this album, Simon paints a fresh coat of clarity and meaning over his undervalued songs, providing a new perspective.
It is clear when listening to the album that Simon's focus was on the storytelling lyrics which are often spoken, resulting in the tracks resembling monologues. These lyrics discuss and bring insight to reoccurring theme throughout the album: what it means to be human. Simon's truthful lyrics delve into themes of love, struggle and confusion, all of which are topics that listeners can relate and connect to.
A reflective and wistful feel is achieved through the album, particularly the track 'Some Folk's Lives Roll Easy'. Throughout, the lyrics paint the scene of a man losing his way and wanting to escape the world. Simon proceeds to turn to God and ask him for help and wisdom out of desperation through the lyric, 'Here I am, Lord/ I am knocking at your place of business'. This track presents a powerful sense of emotion, enhanced by the dreamlike piano riffs and slow breezy tempo.
In reflection, 'In the Blue Light' has been a very thought-provoking album to listen to as Simon his honest with his listeners in the way that he sees the world. He has raised interesting topics through his purposeful lyrics as he declares his retirement from touring.
Written by Millie Pick