Paul Simon – Over the Bridge of Time
A too-small helping of singer-songwriter brilliance
Given the wealth of Paul Simon’s catalog, both in concert with Art Garfunkel and solo, and given the many reconfigurations and reiterations of this material issued on vinyl, 8-track, cassette, CD and digital download, it’s difficult to place the specific utility of this new 20-track collection. Six essential tracks from Simon & Garfunkel and fourteen stretching across Simon’s solo catalog provide an enjoyable sprint through forty-five years of Simon’s masterful songwriting, singing and guitar playing. But there are so many highlights and pivotal moments missing that the end result is the Cliff’s Notes of a multivolume career. Nearly every track leaves you longing to hear its album-mates, which may just be the point: this is audio catnip for luring an unsuspecting listener into Simon’s musical lair where they can mainline The Columbia Studio Recordings 1964-1970 and The Complete Album Collection. Buy this for someone who would appreciate Simon’s craft, but for some reason (youth, most likely), hasn’t yet acquainted themselves with his work. They’ll enjoy full-panel photos, song lyrics and Jesse Kornbluth’s career overview in a twenty-eight page booklet, and with any luck, ask for more.