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HeadlineSeven Psalms: Initial Reaction

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Jay
May-19-2023, 02:45 GMT
South Africa


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Just finished listening to it for the first time on the radio. My initial reaction is shock. (In a good way). It was more split up than I thought it would be.

The positive:

- It’s by far Paul’s most experimental album
- The lyrics and guitar playing are both masterfully done
- Even though it’s mostly Paul and his guitar there’s so much to dive into sonically.

The negative:

- This may be because I was listening to it on radio but his voice seemed a little too quiet in some parts

-It’s definitely something for his fans more so grab the general public. Nothing on the album sounds like pop. This is good when you’re listening on your own or with major music fans but it probably limits how many people will get into it.

I’ll do a more in depth review after I get a chance to listen to it in full quality, multiple times. This is definitely one for repeat listens! Hope you guys enjoy as well!

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James
May-19-2023, 02:55 GMT
USA - United Staates America


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Yeah, it’s definitely going to need multiple listens to to fully grasp everything. There’s so much going on both musically and lyrically, that after I finished it, I kinda just sat there unsure of my thoughts. Overwhelming (in a good way) would be how I’d sum it up at the moment.
I really enjoyed it though. I know I’ll be listening to it a lot over the coming days, but it’ll be interesting to see how I approach it in say six months or so, after the “newness” wears off, because it’s not the type of album that you just put on and sing along to - it’s more like an experience. Really special stuff though and unlike anything I’ve heard, that’s for sure.

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James
May-19-2023, 02:55 GMT
USA - United Staates America


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Yeah, it’s definitely going to need multiple listens to to fully grasp everything. There’s so much going on both musically and lyrically, that after I finished it, I kinda just sat there unsure of my thoughts. Overwhelming (in a good way) would be how I’d sum it up at the moment.
I really enjoyed it though. I know I’ll be listening to it a lot over the coming days, but it’ll be interesting to see how I approach it in say six months or so, after the “newness” wears off, because it’s not the type of album that you just put on and sing along to - it’s more like an experience. Really special stuff though and unlike anything I’ve heard, that’s for sure.

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Jay
May-19-2023, 07:15 GMT
USA - United Staates America


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I’ve listened to it several times now. Each listen it just gets better and better as you notice all the little nuances to it. Only time will tell but I think this is among the best work Simon has ever made. My expectations were high, but this more than met them. ?

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Scaaty
May-19-2023, 13:33 GMT
USA - United Staates America


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The last song/verse is spine chilling, first reaction,
A couple of places the voice is a bit weak - but hey it’s still better than mine. Edie Brickells voice certainly adds to mix !

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Brenda
May-19-2023, 13:49 GMT
USA - United Staates America


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Just seen this in a preview of an article next week in "The Big Issue ' a conversation between Paul and Paul Muldoon . Paul first suffered hearing loss during the making of the album .It got worse after surgery. Hope this link works
https://http://www.bigissue.com/culture/music/paul
-simon-reveals-he-has-lost-the-hearing-in-his-left
-ear/?fbclid=IwAR2eA0aNKeAhEuGh9CLMacu2PQAInubro33
rGBJ2K4utdt9JGakAe4xK3O8

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Brenda
May-19-2023, 13:54 GMT
USA - United Staates America


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Sorry always have difficulty to get links to work on here .
In a brand-new interview, iconic singer-songwriter Paul Simon has revealed he is suffering from severe hearing loss. In an exclusive conversation for The Big Issue between the legendary musician and world-renowned poet Paul Muldoon, Simon explained how his hearing began to fail as he worked on his latest solo LP, Seven Psalms.
“I lost the hearing in my left ear,” said Simon. “So I couldn’t hear the way I was used to when I would sing. It didn’t impede my imagination, but it was a distraction.”
In a deep and soulful new interview, Simon also reflects on his 67-year career to date. From era-defining hits Bridge Over Troubled Water and The Sound of Silence with Simon and Garfunkel to iconic 1986 album Graceland and beyond, Simon is one of the all-time great songwriters.
His 15th solo LP is an ambitious, poetic suite of music. It comprises seven interlinked passages and considers big questions of life, of loss, of faith. Recording it as his hearing began to fail presented new problems for the 81-year-old.
“When I sang, I thought I was in tune. But when I listened back, I could hear that I was singing slightly flat. I had to work on that to compensate,” said Simon.
“I really wasn’t used to anything going wrong with my body because I’ve been healthy. And here was a serious blow to what was essential to my being.
“I was referred to a doctor who said, ‘I think I know what’s wrong. And I can fix it with this procedure.’ I so much wanted that to be true and went ahead. After that procedure, I nearly lost everything. That ear was at about 40% hearing and it went down to about 8%.”
Paul Simon opens his heart to Paul Muldoon – the finest poet working in the English language today – as the two greats bond over their shared addiction to creativity. They also discuss the source of Simon’s inspiration – as he reveals how Seven Psalms began four years ago with an intense dream.
“I had a dream on 15 January 15 2019,” he told Muldoon. “And the dream said, ‘You’re working on a piece called Seven Psalms.’ It was so vivid that I woke up and wrote it down, which is not typical of me. Nor do I take instructions from my dreams. But this was a very powerful dream. And it was also the anniversary of my father’s passing, which is probably just a coincidence. If you believe in coincidence, which I do.”
The lyrics also came to him in the night, he says.
“I started waking up in the middle of the night, three or four nights a week, always at the same time, between 3:30 and 5am. And I’d just write down these words were that were coming.
“It’s something I’m sure you’ve experienced,” Simon continued. “Which is when you have a sudden flow of information. In your case, and in my case, it will be words, or music, and it flows very freely from a source that you can’t identify. It has a natural quality to it. And sometimes something more to it. I realised years ago that I had been experiencing those moments for much of my life.
“For example, when I wrote The Sound of Silence, when I was 22 years old, I thought, ‘Well, that’s probably my best song. I can close this set with this.’ When I wrote Bridge Over Troubled Water, I thought, ‘That’s better than I usually write.’ And it came quickly.
“Same happened with the song Graceland. And now I realise there are times when you’re in what you could call ‘flow’. When it’s easy to write and time doesn’t exist.”
The poetic pair have come together exclusively for The Big Issue. Paul Muldoon praised Simon for his “regard for the poorest of the poor” in the lyrics to his new LP, which he noted will have “particular resonance for readers of The Big Issue.”

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Megma
May-19-2023, 14:49 GMT
USA - United Staates America


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Thank you to Jay for the review, I am very excited to listen to the record later today -- I'm sure I'll listen to it 3 or 4 times haha. I have kind of been expecting 'Seven Psalms' to sound something like Insomniac's Lullaby or Questions for the Angels, so I am surprised to read in several reviews that 'Seven Psalms' represents a seemingly new sound for Paul?

And Brenda, thank you for that article. This is shocking to learn of his hearing loss.

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Jay
May-19-2023, 14:58 GMT
USA - United Staates America


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I expected the same. I thought it would be something like So Beautiful part 2. But it’s completely different. It has a much rawer—almost live—quality to it. Hope you enjoy!

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mog
May-19-2023, 15:51 GMT
USA - United Staates America


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Listened maybe 3 times. Have not received the CD yet, so I will sit down with the lyrics at some point.

There are beautiful segments for sure. The bluesy one might be my favorite.

Probably his best-guitar playing record in years if not decades.

Overall though, it is not an easy-listening experience. Will likely be reserved to hard-core fans. There will be critical acclaim, but...

Very sad re: hearing loss. But with a life spent on stage with monitors + aging, I guess it is not that surprising.

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Jay
May-19-2023, 18:26 GMT
USA - United Staates America


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Just received the vinyl in the mail. Now that I’ve gotten to sit down and actually read the lyrics, I think this is by far Simon’s most lyrically rich work. It’s almost as effective as written poetry as it is lyrics and music.

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mog
May-19-2023, 23:29 GMT
USA - United Staates America


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I think after about 10 listens, I am starting to get and enjoy it.

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Jay
May-20-2023, 03:35 GMT
USA - United Staates America


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It’s definitely the type of album that reveals itself slowly.

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Jay
May-20-2023, 03:54 GMT
USA - United Staates America


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Every time I hear it I like it even more. Reminds me of when I first heard Rhythm of the Saints. The sound couldn’t be more different than that album but because that album also had unfamiliar sounds and song structures it took repeated listenings before I fully appreciated it. Now it’s tied with So Beautiful as my favorite Simon album. Can’t rank this one yet though cause I need to listen to it more and see how it stacks up when the newness wears off. So far so good though.

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mog  
May-20-2023, 06:08 GMT
USA - United Staates America


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Now I really like it! But that took 15 listens!

The sound tapestry is incredible.

You know what? I would have liked an instrumental version as well.


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