In 2018, Paul Simon retired from performing. So Seven Psalms, a 33-minute work of seven interlinked actions, arrives each as a shock and a revelation. Coming to Simon in a collection of desires, Seven Psalms finds this revered singer-songwriter approaching the large questions in a way that recollects the searching for of the late Leonard Cohen, one other nice pop meta doctor raised initially within the Jewish religion. “This entire piece is de facto an argument I’m having with myself about perception, or not, ” Simon notes in the album’s YouTube trailer.
Starring his voice and nimble guitar, with subtly dramatic instrumentation including texture all through, that is much less a file than a dream state designed to scrub over the listener in a single sitting. Neither folks nor pop – simply two of the genres Simon is finest identified for – the taking part in all through is impressionistic, straying in the direction of a playful nation blues on My Skilled Opinion, whereas arpeggiating Spanish guitar lends grace to Your Forgiveness, an etiolated motion the place Simon wonders: “Two billion heartbeats and out? Or does all of it Throughoutin?”
All through are little nods to his autobiography: the Lord, he thinks, is perhaps “a highway I slip and slide on”, as per SiSlidings 1977 hit Slip Slidin’ Away. On the finish is Wait, an attractive intestine punch during which Simon ponders his personal mortality.