Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme by Simon & Garfunkel

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Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme by Simon & Garfunkel
Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme by Simon & Garfunkel

Album Released: 1966

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme ::: Artwork

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1.Scarborough Fair / Canticle
2.Patterns
3.Cloudy
4.Homeward Bound
5.The Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine
6.The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)
7.The Dangling Conversation
8.Flowers Never Bend With The Rainfall
9.A Simple Desultory Philippic (Or How I Was Robert McNamara'd Into Submission)
10.For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her
11.A Poem On The Underground Wall
12.7 O'Clock News / Silent Night

Reviews

Mmm... yes, I think I have to put this in the 'almost, but not quite' category.

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme - Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel's third album together - opens in style with "Scarborough Fair/Canticle", which is simply one of the most beautiful melodies every composed (it's actually two melodies in counterpoint, the first a traditional piece, and the second a reworking of a Simon original - they remain gorgeous), before two rather forgettable tracks in "Patterns" and "Cloudy".

Then come such fine songs as "Homeward Bound", the cute "The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)", "Flowers Never Bend with the Rainfall" and "For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her", all of which however I can't help thinking could've been better, though I'm not sure how. Then again, giving it some more thought, "Homeward Bound" does pretty much hit the right spot I suppose.

"A Simple Desultory Philippic" is an obvious Dylan satire, from Paul Simon's vocals to the bizarre lyrics - he even throws in a harmonica. Then there's the rather unsettling conclusion, "7 O'clock News / Silent Night", which is a gentle rendition of the classic hymn combined with reports of several contemporary news items on the radio.

The overall feeling of this record is one of melancholy. I don't think it's as dark as Sounds of Silence overall, but neither is it as consistent. The harmonies are as gorgeous as always, however. They're something that never let this duo down.

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by Reviewer: The Doctor


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?

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