Wednesday, July 04, 2012

America

For the occasion of the fourth of July. America from 1968 remains one of the most impressive Simon and Garfunkel songs. The lyrics vividly describe an imaginary trip through the USA of Paul and his girlfriend Kathy. We get both the personal viewpoints ("laughing on the bus, playing games with the faces", "Kathy, I'm lost, I said, though I knew she was sleeping - I'm empty and aching and I don't know why"), and the more general soul-searching of a nation for which this trip is symbolic ("Counting the cars on the New Jersey turnpike, they've all gone to look for America"). The melody is simple but memorable and the instrumentation, though more heavy than in most of their songs from that vintage period, is quite effective. Art Rock score: 10/10 (brilliant masterpiece, one of 200 best songs of all time).

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