John and I spent many a summer day mowing lawns for the likes of the ‘church lady,’ ‘hell on the hill,’ ‘Blob Blopson,’ ‘Bernard’ ‘Ms. Maxey,’ ‘Aunt Patty’ and more with the sole purpose of earning enough money to later that day head up to the local Blockbuster music and pick us out a couple of CDs.
Growing up, John and I had many things in common but our love for music was up near the top. It was often the topic of discussion headed to and fro from the different lawns that we mowed but if you did a Ven Diagram of musical interests between John and me the center would be as paper-thin as an Ed Sheeran lyric and would mainly include your standard bands such as The Stones, Led Zepplin, The Beatles. Nothing too eclectic. And as we grew older, our interests grew further apart as well. So, we thought it’d be fun (at least fun for us) to force each other to listen to music we think the other person would hate and have the listener give an honest review of it afterward.
We’ll dig into this more later but to put it simply, I’d say my musical interests lean a bit softer than John’s and I know for a fact that he’s mentioned not liking the genre of music the group I’m going to have him listen to. So, without further ado, John David, I’d like you to listen to Simon and Garfunkel’s seminal album, Bridge Over Troubled Water.
For a little context, why do you hate folk music so much, and did this album do anything to change your mind?
I will try to make this the short version. Traditional-sounding folk music has simply never caught my attention. Both the music itself and the vocals are typically boring to me. That doesn’t mean they aren’t good singers. That doesn’t mean they aren’t amazing musicians. Everything seems so fragile. I like to hear some “umpf” behind the vocals on occasion. Great example – Tyler Childers. Most of his songs, like folk music, feature an acoustic guitar and vocals. But when you hear the first word to a song like “Nose on the Grindstone,” there is a power behind the voice that you just don’t get with these traditional kinds of folk songs. When I hear Tyler Childers start to sing I want to punch a hold in the drywall and then tell everyone about it. When I hear Simon and Garfunkel I want to watch the last scene of Good Will Hunting, over and over…you know, the one where Matt Damon drives the car at the end.
It didn’t change my mind about folk music, but that doesn’t translate to me disliking the album.
That’s a good image right there. I think I’ll pop on Good Will Hunting later and do that exact same thing. Doesn’t that feel make you want to listen to more folk music? And specifically with this album, what songs on it that you had never heard before did you enjoy (if any)? I’m also going to have to check out Tyler Childers at some point.
Of the 11 songs, I had heard 5 of them. Of the 6 songs I had never heard, I liked “Keep the Customer Satisfied” and “Baby Driver.” I am on the fence about “El Condor Pasa / If I Could.” I was completely out the first time I heard it. By the third listen, it grew on me a little. I am not ready to say I like it, yet. Maybe after a few more listens, but the Medieval sounding flutes (or whatever they are) drive me nuts. I don’t know if I will be able to get over them.
I’m not the one to talk to about this because I love all the sounds on this album but I am glad that the songs you liked on here are the ones you liked. So did I change your mind on folk music?
Didn’t change my mind, but I don’t think there is anything or anyone that will change my mind on folk music. I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it. Hits like “The Boxer” and “Cecilia” are great songs. “The Only Living Boy in New York” is a great song. “Bridge Over Troubled Water” is a beautiful song, but I can only listen to it so often. All of the other aforementioned songs I added to my Apple Music. I completely forgot about them, and this “review” inspired me to add them.
I am VERY happy Mrs. Robinson was not on this album. I hear it so many times, and I didn’t want it to inherently ruin my listening experience before I ever started actually listening to it.
ALSO, I should add that in terms of folk albums, I think this is a great album. I wouldn’t give it 4 stars for my personal taste, but for what it is – a folk album – I think it is great.