Paul Simon Stephen Holden - Essay

Stephen Holden

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[Simon and Garfunkel's Greatest Hits] is a greatest hits album that lives up to its name….

I'm a little sorry that the cuts on this collection aren't arranged in chronological order so that we could trace directly Paul Simon's development as a songwriter. Unlike Dylan, who executed a series of dramatic stylistic changes, Simon's evolution has been subtle, but in the long run almost as significant. Though the distance he has traveled is far more apparent on his solo album than it is here, it is still very evident after close listening. Compare, for instance, "The Sounds of Silence" and "I Am a Rock," with "America" and "The Boxer." The difference represents a triumphant movement away from...

(The entire section is 492 words.)