Albums to watch

So Beautiful Or So What

Paul Simon

So Beautiful Or So What

12th studio album and first for five years from the veteran singer-songwriter

ADM rating[?]

7.9

Label
Decca
UK Release date
13/06/2011
US Release date
12/04/2011
  1. 10.0 |   State

    He has crafted his most vital, most complete album in 25 years
    Read Review

  2. 10.0 |   Daily Telegraph

    A rich, surprising and ultimately satisfying stew of Simon’s folk, rock and pop influences from all over the world
    Read Review

  3. 10.0 |   Independent on Sunday

    The album contains at least half a dozen songs that are as simple and profound as anything Simon has ever written
    Read Review

  4. 10.0 |   The Irish Times

    Remarkable
    Read Review

  5. 9.1 |   A.V. Club

    Another periodic dispatch from a musician who hasn’t run out of clever, catchy ways to describe the world in which he lives
    Read Review

  6. 9.0 |   PopMatters

    It is a complete classic: a great album in which to lose yourself
    Read Review

  7. 8.5 |   BBC

    A profound statement from a master of his craft
    Read Review

  8. 8.0 |   Mojo

    A deeply spiritual record, its more reflective moments offset by playful fare. Print edition only

  9. 8.0 |   The Guardian

    Simon's openness and spirit of inquiry ensure that this album is never the work of a man slouched in complacency
    Read Review

  10. 8.0 |   The Observer

    Simon's first album in five years, So Beautiful or so What, examines the big issues with a lightness of touch, both in his lyrics and musical approach
    Read Review

  11. 8.0 |   No Ripcord

    While it’s not strong enough to top the pleasures of his best records, it’s also occasionally deeper and more profound than just about anything else he has done
    Read Review

  12. 8.0 |   Rave Magazine

    He’s still making adventurous and vital music
    Read Review

  13. 8.0 |   Rolling Stone

    Old-fashioned in its brevity (10 songs, 38 minutes) and vivid in its storytelling
    Read Review

  14. 8.0 |   Uncut

    As ever, Simon's work is a strange mix of easy and uneasy listening - it's balm, but it leaves an itch
    Read Review

  15. 8.0 |   Evening Standard

    Songs such as the title track and Love & Blessings reveal frisky life in quite an old dog
    Read Review

  16. 8.0 |   DIY

    Simon’s purest and most consistent effort since the early 90s
    Read Review

  17. 6.7 |   Pitchfork

    Simon comes across as much more at ease and compelling in this familiar setting. He's like a novelist revisiting the particulars of his youth
    Read Review

  18. 6.0 |   Q

    A refreshingly upbeat counterpoint to 2006's opaque, Brian-Eno assisted Surprise. Print edition only

  19. 6.0 |   music OMH

    Although the songs here will always be found wanting when compared with Simon's great allusive narratives, there is still plenty to enjoy
    Read Review

  20. 6.0 |   The Digital Fix

    Unlikely to win over a new audience but long term fans will no doubt be happy enough with the pleasant, if slightly underwhelming, offering
    Read Review

  21. 6.0 |   The Scotsman

    An effortlessly executed yet thought-provoking ride
    Read Review

  22. 6.0 |   The Quietus

    Modest, tuneful ruminations
    Read Review

  23. 6.0 |   The Independent

    The results sound like generic Simon... but too many of his ruminations, using the album's own dichotomy, leave one thinking, "So what?"
    Read Review


blog comments powered by Disqus

Watch it

Roll over video for more options

Hear it

Preview & download it

Paul Simon: So Beautiful Or So What

  • Download full album for just £8.49
  • 1. Getting Ready For Christmas Day £0.99
  • 2. The Afterlife £0.99
  • 3. Dazzling Blue £0.99
  • 4. Rewrite £0.99
  • 5. Love And Hard Times £0.99
  • 6. Love Is Eternal Sacred Light £0.99
  • 7. Amulet £0.99
  • 8. Questions For The Angels £0.99
  • 9. Love And Blessings £0.99
  • 10. So Beautiful Or So What £0.99
  • 11. Peace Like A River (Live) £0.99
  • Service provided by 7Digital

Latest Reviews

The Good, The Bad & The Queen  Merrie Land

Damon Albarn’s supergroup returns to explore a changing Britain The FT

Mumford & Sons  Delta

This ambitious failure is swollen with stadium-sized musical bluster The FT

The Smashing Pumpkins  Shiny And Oh So Bright, Vol. 1: No Past. No Future. No Sun

Picking up where Billy left off with ‘Ogilala’ DIY

More reviews