Sounds of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel

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Sounds of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel
Sounds of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel

Album Released: 1966

Sounds of Silence ::: Artwork

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1.The Sound Of Silence3:02
2.Leaves That Are Green2:21
4.Kathy's Song3:16
5.Somewhere They Can't Find Me2:34
7.Richard Cory2:56
8.A Most Peculiar Man2:29
9.April Come She Will1:49
10.We've Got A Groovy Thing Goin'1:55
11.I Am A Rock2:50


The sound of one finger snapping in time. I count two classics of the Simon canon here - the title track (obviously), and the album closer "I Am a Rock" (maybe three if I'm in a good mood, in "April Come She Will").

Sandwiched between are bland acoustic-strummed campfire recyclings of Olde English folke melodies, about as exciting as a cat supping warm milk. And in the case of "Richard Cory" - a rewrite of that famous poem highschool teachers still make American kids read - pretentious. Edward Arlington Robinson rocked harder on the original.

"Somewhere They Can't Find Me" is as laughably irritating as uber-wimp Simon always is when he tries to sneer tough. And "We've Got a Groovy Thing Goin'" is a ripoff of some fluff British Invasion single that I can't finger the name of just now.

What's more, the filler on this album can get pretty obvious. For instance, the acoustic guitar instrumental "Anji" (a cover at that) ... I mean, what's the point in covering an acoustic guitar instrumental? Couldn't Simon have just as easily jammed out an original with a handful of chords? It's not as if "Anji" is a particularly interesting or complex guitar showcase.

Mainly what this album does for me, aside from the singles, is put me to sleep.

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by Reviewer: Creative Noise

Simon & Garfunkel's second album finds them with an electric, band-orientated sound, which is used to excellent effect.

This is a melancholy, sometimes bleak listen (a number of tracks are actually taken from Paul Simon's Songbook released a year earlier, but with different arrangements). Two songs, "Richard Cory" and "A Most Peculiar Man" (which come one after the other) involve suicide, while the closing "I Am A Rock" scowls and folds its arms as it grumbles I have no need of friendship; friendship causes pain. It's laughter and it's loving I disdain, and yet the flying chorus manages to be somehow uplifting. It justifies its stance, heels dug into the ground.

The duo's vocals harmonies are again captivating, whether it be on the famous "The Sound of Silence" (beefed up to be a hit, after the acoustic original on Wednesday Morning 3 A.M.), or the grabbing "Somewhere They Can't Find Me" (love that flying minor key bit). Likewise "A Most Peculiar Man", while "Blessed", with its odd Biblical references, pounds along furiously.

"We've Got A Groovy Thing Goin'" does indeed have an irresistible groove. Then there's the charming "Leaves That Are Green", and the snazzy little instrumental "Anji". About the only two songs that don't do a lot for me are the quieter pieces, "Kathy's Song" and "April Come She Will".

Through it all, along with the singing is a deft blend of guitar and keyboard, with occasional dashes of brass.

Sounds of Silence is overall a very consistent collection of folk/rock - not up there with Bridge Over Troubled Water, but still one of Simon & Garfunkel's best.

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by Reviewer: The Doctor

After the failure of Wednesday Morning 3am, Paul Simon moved to London and made a solo album called The Paul Simon Songbook. In the meantime, producers at Columbia noted that the song "Sounds of Silence" from Wednesday Morning 3am had gained a cult following among college students ...

With electric backing from some Dylan sessions added to the track, upon its release it reached the top of the US charts, so Simon then rushed back to New York to record an accompanying album, and Sounds of Silence is the frustrating result, consisting of only half an album of vintage Simon & Garfunkel, the rest of the material not being of any real quality or substance.

The title track from the first album is given the new title "Somewhere They Can't Find Me", plus a totally revamped melody and arrangement. Then there's an instrumental folk standard called "Anji", and a cover called "Richard Cory" (which I used to think was totally nonsensical until I worked out that the lyrics were I curse my poverty rather than I curse my father T). Worst of all is a particularly embarrassing song called "A Most Peculiar Man", which I imagine will pop up on a kitsch movie at some point.

Although all those songs would be passable B-sides, they don't deserve album space. The best-known songs - the title track and "I Am a Rock" - are great, as are the nursery rhymeish "April Come She Will" and "Kathy's Song". And "Leaves That Are Green", "Blessed", and "We've Got A Groovy Thing Goin'" are catchy and fun, although they are well below Simon's ability as a songwriter.

Sounds of Silence is consistently entertaining though, although not always for the right reasons. It was released the year before landmarks such as Revolver, Pet Sounds, and Blonde on Blonde, when bands began making albums that were full of topdrawer material, rather than just filler padding out a few great singles.

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by Reviewer: Fyfeopedia (blogging at Fyfeopedia [Defunct])