Simon and Garfunkel - Bridge Over Troubled Water - Review
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critics' view

The fifth and final serving from the duo arrived in January ’70 and proved to be hugely entertaining; packed with vitality and variety. The title-track opens the set and, although it doesn’t move me greatly, I can appreciate the drama. Better immediately is “El Condor Pasa (If I Could)”, with Simon’s new lyrics being set to an arrangement of a Peruvian folk melody, authenticated by the instrumental track being played by genre experts, Los Incas. Lovely. The stomp-pop brilliance of “Cecelia” seems to be underlined immediately, due to the sheer contrast to the preceding tranquillity. Cashing in on the excitement levels, “Keep The Customer Satisfied”, glorious and ebullient on the surface, is weary of the baggage that comes with showbiz.

On that same theme, opening side 2 is the album’s lead single, a Top 10 smash 9 months in the public domain afore the LP, “The Boxer”. It’s another fantastic production, fit to be labelled “epic”. Once again, Simon lashes out at the critics, likening himself to the boxer who “carries the reminders of ev'ry glove that laid him down or CUT HIM till he cried out”. The emphasis on CUT HIM is just WOW. Talking of big wows, “The Only Living Boy In New York”, Paul’s melancholic lament over the impending dissolution of his musical partnership with Art, proves to be the duo’s last great song. It would bring tears to the manliest of men and the story was indeed foretold; it signalled the end of a beautiful bromance. They bowed out heads held high, with their magical track record firmly intact.

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