Saturday, August 16, 2008
A Former Talk Show Host.
Paul Simon's Graceland in a nutshell: cheesy as all fuck, racially insensitive and, well, often insufferably 80s (anyone who disagrees should revisit the Call Me Al filmclip, starring Chevy Chase), but at the same time insidiously infectious. Listening to it immediately after listening to The Promise Ring's Nothing Feels Good, which I've written about previously here, I realised that somehow Graceland has, despite shifting its influences to an entirely different nation with each song, achieved a constant tone, that elusive quality that seperates the great albums from the perfect. How Paul Simon has managed this has little to nothing to do with the world music 101 qualities of the record, but more to do with the sense of melancholy that has permeated all of his best work. He's one of those artists for whom unhappiness is beneficial, which sucks for him but works out pretty well for the rest of us.