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Paul Simon - Surprise - Warner Bros.

For his first new album in six years, Paul Simon's Surprise will indeed be a wonderful surprise for his fans. "Sonically enhanced" (produced and co-written) by the legendary Brian Eno, the album bubbles and gurgles and percolates and simmers with the electronic beats, synthesized guitars and sinewy keyboard accompaniments that are trademark to Brian Eno's production style and sonic soundscapes.

At the heart of Surprise is Simon's masterful voice, and includes contributions from musicians including Steve Gadd, Herbie Hancock, and jazz guitarist Bill Frisell. The album was mixed by Tchad Blake, and recorded at Eno's studio in London as well as studios in New York and Nashville. The album features 11 songs, including the previously Oscar-nominated "Father And Daughter."

While Simon has always been praised for his lyrical and melodic genius one can not overlook another one of his musical signatures - the co-mingling of a variety of music genres in to something new and fresh. And he succeeds quite well on his new album. From the gospel-flavored "Wartime Prayers" and the electronica-meets-Bo Diddley-ized Second Line grooves of "Sure Don't Feel Like Love" to the electro-folk of "Another Galaxy", Simon continues to push musical boundaries. What's not a surprise here is that he continues to write excellent story songs - "Outrageous" and "How Can You Live In The Northeast" are perfect examples of these.

Written by Bruce Warren

Release date May 9, 2006

BUY THIS CD: Surprise

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