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.Rated:
by Reviewer: The Doctor