All of Paul Simon's solo albums ranked

Every Paul Simon solo record reviewed.

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No. 12 - YOU’RE THE ONE (2000)

The original release of You’re the One featured eleven songs and Simon was inspired to re-record four of them 18 years later on the above-mentioned In the Blue Light. Is that an indication that he didn’t feel like he got You’re the One right?

The album received a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year. It lost out to Steely Dan’s comeback Two Against Nature. In retrospect, those were the two least interesting albums of the five nominated (the others being Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP, Beck’s Midnite Vultures, and Radiohead’s Kid A.) Simon was coming off the failure of Songs From the Capeman, and his new album was probably overpraised for being a somewhat decent return to form.

There are some very good songs on You’re the One. “Old,” an old-fashioned rocker that pays homage to Buddy Holly was one of Simon’s first treatments of a subject that would come to dominate much of his 21st century work – aging. “Senorita with a Necklace of Tears” is a beautiful track that would have been at home on his great late-’80s albums. And “Hurricane Eye,” driven forward by Mark Stewart’s banjo and Dan Duggan's hammered dulcimer is still evidence of how Simon was always looking for new sounds to carry his stories along.

“Hurricane Eye” is the penultimate track. The final one, “Quiet,” reveals how the songwriter could sometimes let interesting instrumentation tentatively cover up a few mediocre songs. Skip LaPlante’s whirly tube and steel bowls provide an expressive aural soundscape, but the song itself remains a rather dreary affair.