Paul Simon recently kicked off his Homeward Bound farewell tour, which concludes on 9/22 with a final performance in his Queens hometown. But before he retires from touring for good, barring a few one-off performances, the legend is going to celebrate his decades-long career in another way: a new album called In The Blue Light, his 14th studio album and his first since 2016’s Stranger To Stranger.
In The Blue Light features reworked versions of songs that originally appeared on Simon’s albums There Goes Rhymin’ Simon (1973), Still Crazy After All These Years (1975), One-Trick Pony (1980), Hearts And Bones (1983), The Rhythm Of The Saints (1990), You’re The One (2000), and So Beautiful Or So What (2011). “This album consists of songs that I thought were almost right, or were odd enough to be overlooked the first time around,” he explains in a statement. “Re-doing arrangements, harmonic structures, and lyrics that didn’t make their meaning clear, gave me time to clarify in my own head what I wanted to say, or realize what I was thinking and make it more easily understood.”
“It’s an unusual occurrence for an artist to have the opportunity to revisit earlier works and re-think them; to modify, even completely change parts of the originals,” Simon continues in the album’s liner notes. “Happily, this opportunity also gave me the gift of playing with an extraordinary group of musicians, most of whom I hadn’t recorded with before. I hope the listener will find these new versions of old songs refreshed, like a new coat of paint on the walls of an old family home.” Said musicians include trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, guitarist Bill Frisell, drummers Jack DeJohnette and Steve Gadd, and the chamber ensemble yMusic, and the release of In The Blue Light in September coincides with the final leg of Simon’s farewell tour.
01 “One Man’s Ceiling Is Another Man’s Floor”
03 “Can’t Run But”
04 “How The Heart Approaches What It Yearns”
05 “Pigs, Sheep And Wolves”
06 “René And Georgette Magritte With Their Dog After The War”
07 “The Teacher”
08 “Darling Lorraine”
09 “Some Folks’ Lives Roll Easy”
10 “Questions for the Angels”
In The Blue Light is out 9/7.