Rewrite

First of all, Paul Simon has really grown into an adorable old man. He looks like he probably plays dominoes outside of the deli every afternoon. He looks like one of his own characters, because if he hasn’t yet written a song about an old man who plays dominoes outside the deli, he’s going to soon. Secondly, there is, as always, Paul Simon’s writing, which has only ripened with age. His songs, at this point, are as full and satisfying as a good short story. His writing has always been both literate and literary, but now it’s without the distraction of youthful angst, which screams me! me! me! instead of observing the world fully. I love really good observational writing, and Paul Simon writes about people and moments and feelings that feel real, outside of the usual concerns of pop. Pop songwriting is essentially hormonal, geared to appeal to young people who are screaming to be seen. Mature writing is about seeing what’s not screaming for attention, and not every songwriter, even very gifted ones, ever learns that.