Paul Simon Seven Psalms

I downloaded this on Friday and I have listened to it several times so far. It keeps growing on me. It is very unusual in that there are seven songs all contained in one track, so the easiest thing is to listen to it as a continuous piece with seven movements, as it were.
It is mostly just Paul’s voice and acoustic with a vocal contribution from his wife towards the end. It seems to be saying goodbye in some way. I hope not………
Definitely worth a try.


Couldn’t get it to work via Qobuz so tried it via Tidal. Given the reviews I really wanted to love it but it struck myself and Mrs. H. as fairly morose and lacking in melody. It was nice to hear him in acoustic mode but the cyclical nature of his playing rapidly lost its attraction given the lack of memorable melodies.

As an additional irritant the streaming version has it as one track but the reviews and All Music have it as seven separate tracks which it helpfully lists.

Given it four listens. For me it’s a massive let down given the reviews.


Paul Simon: losing my hearing — and why I’m writing songs again


Just streamed - love the chord shapes, quite beautiful.

I would describe it as ‘introspective’ rather than ‘morose’. There’s a good deal of humour there too.
True, it’s not based on obvious tunes as Paul’s music usually is, but it is clearly in his tradition.
I think no matter what format you go for, it is always presented as just one track, which seems to invite you to listen to all of it at once. At just over half an hour, that’s not too much of an imposition, in my view.


I agree re: lyrics but I found the music morose and not especially attractive. I’m not really bothered whether it’s in his tradition as some of his best music has been made when he steps away from what he’s more commonly been known for. The issue for me is that, whilst he sounds in better voice than he has for a while, the whole is simply not especially compelling. As the reviews note, the quietness of it compels you to lean in and listen. Having done so four times to give it a fair chance there just isn’t enough there for me at all.

You are correct in that it’s presented as one track in all formats but if the intent was to make people listen to it in one go then I find that a tad insulting really. Those people who claim that certain formats discourage them from listening to whole albums will likely not do so here and those who always start by listening to albums from beginning to end will do so regardless. Given that there are seven discreet song titles and it’s not entirely clear where some start and some end then he’s doing us and himself a disservice as I looked them up anyway.

I’m sure it’ll be a hit for some and they’ll rave about it’s contemplative nature or inner beauty but, for me, it was just not that interesting. When I asked Mrs. H. if I could terminate it part way through listen number five her response was a rather blunt “thank god for that”. Both of us are Simon and S&G fans of long-standing.

Listening now, I like it, his voice sounds decent for his age and a nice acoustic vibe.



I rather like it.

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I must give it a listen later, although it does sound like the type of acoustic music that might not appeal to my rhythmic predilections.

Great linked article. Sad but true what he says - his generations time is up.


Added from Tidal, will give it a listen later.

Got to see Paul, at the RDS, Dublin, a few years ago. Amazing concert although his last tour.

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I’ve just listened to it for the 17th time, and I think I’m beginning to get the hang of it!
It has prompted me to install Roon ARC so I can listen to it on holidays, which start tomorrow.
That’s a real measure of how much I like this album - I don’t want to go a fortnight without hearing it. I don’t usually listen to any music on holidays, so there’s definitely something about Seven Psalms….


This is brilliant - a masterpiece. Wonderful guitar playing and his voice is spot on.


It will need a few listens but I can see some attraction but the only song that struck me was personal opinion.

His voice although clearly Paul Simon sounds like Paul McCartney’s does now in some places, presumably an effect of old age on a voice.


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Yes, Personal Opinion was the key into the whole thing, for me. As to his voice, it is remarkably well preserved compared to many.
I used Roon ARC to download the album from my Core to my iPad so I was able to listen to it on the plane (via good noise cancelling headphones) this afternoon and now I’m listening to it on a balcony in Nerja accompanied by almost unprecedented rain.
Let’s hope the rain turns to sun tomorrow….


Did he get Sting to sing the opening song?
Thought I had selected the wrong album for a moment.

It’s not that bad!


He’s still a phenomenal guitarist and musician. His 2016 album Stranger To Stranger is a consistent favourite listen for me and there are echoes of it on this.

Interesting how a piece/pieces of music can divide opinion…. As my old man used to say, “It takes all sorts to make a world” :blush:
Personally I love it for the stripped back presentation and song writing/arranging craft. It’s like some of his early work but after a lifetime of experience and not dependent on him selling songs to pay his way. There are still some great hooks in there though, as is Paul’s forte.


Good review from the Guardian:

I’m going to give it another listen. I originally played it when it was released and only got 2 tracks in. I guess I was expecting something different.