Paul Simon Peter Reilly - Essay

Peter Reilly

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

The title song [of Bridge Over Troubled Water] has already become something of a miniclassic, along the lines of the duo's earlier Mrs. Robinson and Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme, and it reflects beautifully the gentle essence of their art. The lyrics are moving without being maudlin, and the tune itself has a classic purity that makes it both memorable and distinctive. This track alone makes the album worth having, but it is not the only triumph. Cecilia, Bye Bye Love, and Baby Driver are all superior songs that stand on their own as really good material faultlessly performed. The subtlety of composition, mood, and delivery that Simon and Garfunkel can put into their work never ceases to astonish me, and neither does their ability to reveal what is at the core of so many of today's young people: that spirit of high romance that hasn't been in the mainstream of the arts since the nineteenth century. Bridge Over Troubled Water might seem on the surface to be only a benevolent promise along the lines of S & G's assurance to Mrs. Robinson that God loves her, but when probed a little deeper it reveals itself as an almost passionate declaration of fidelity. (p. 75)

Peter Reilly, "Another Triumph for Simon and Garfunkel," in Stereo Review (copyright © 1970 by Ziff-Davis Publishing Company), Vol. 25, No. 1, July, 1970, pp. 75-6.