I have a soft spot for Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme
, as it was the first album I ever acquired, having commandeered it from my parent's collection, it being virtually the only album within the pop/rock field they owned.
It's not perfect though. Simon's songwriting seems to be over-compensating for the adolescent themes of Sounds of Silence
, and thus ventures into a pretentious territory that pop songsmiths should fear to tread. In fact, he's so pretentious he doesn't name a song simply "Feeling Groovy", instead preferring the unwieldy title of "The 59th Street Bridge Song", thus confusing lots of potential consumers.
And "The Dangling Conversation" in particular features precocious lyrics like and you read your Emily Dickinson, and I my Robert Frost. And we note our place with bookmarks, that measure what we've lost
, which are diminished in emotional impact by their sheer awkwardness. Another problem with the lyrics is their preachiness, especially on "A Simple Desultory Phillipic" and "The Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine".
While the lyrics have flaws, the music works wonderfully. Simon & Garfunkel explore a comfortable range of sounds within their palette, without stretching themselves with unnatural abrasiveness, making Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme
the best representation of their classic sound, complemented with strong melodies.
Slow down, you're going too fast - you've got to make the morning last
is one of the least complicated lyrics on the record, and it's also the most memorable. Likewise, "For Emily, Where Ever I May Find Her" is heartfelt in its lyrical simplicity.
So the best songs are when the uniformly strong music is mixed with the least ostentatious lyrics. "Scarborough Fair / Canticle" mixes two traditional songs with spectacular harmonies, while "Homeward Bound" and "59th Street Bridge Song" are the album's catchy singles.
Too simplistic on the first two albums, too pretentious on Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme
... when would Simon & Garfunkel strike a happy medium?Rated:
by Reviewer: Fyfeopedia
(blogging at Fyfeopedia [Defunct]