Paul Simon - So Beautiful, So What - Hear Music
Simon returns with some of his best music since back in the Graceland
days, featuring an emotional range of new songs fully graced (ahem) with
diverse worldbeat instrumentations pinned to intelligent-folk roots. With
vocals barely aged even as Simon approaches 70 years old, he crafts smart
storytelling vehicles via music that beckon the ear and spark discussion.
Questions for the Angels harkens empathy for the homeless through one of
Simons trademark ballads; The Afterlife throws a bit of humor into the
mix; Dazzling Blue mixes exotic percussion and fiddle; and highlight
Love is Eternal Sacred Light is as catchy as Simons music ever was.
Alison Krauss and Union Station - Paper Airplane - Rounder Records
It took a few years for Krauss and crew to craft something that they
apparantly felt would stand up to their 3-Grammy-winning 2004 release
(Lonely Runs Both Ways), but theyre back in full force with this one,
which showcases every facet of Krauss influences, from
Americana/roots/bluegrass music to country and pop. Krauss voice is a
consistent element throughout for the most part (three songs are sung by
Union Stations Dan Tyminski), whether on the pensive Lie Awake, the
serene Dimming of the Day, and the slightly darker Sinking Stone. Its
nothing particularly groundbreaking, but a consistent, strong, and
appealing set of tunes.