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Reviewed: Paul Simon's Best Album in 20 Years; Robbie Robertson's Ambitious New Disc

Plus: Stream new music by Death Cab for Cutie, the National, Dr. Dre, Thom Yorke

April 5, 2011 9:00 AM ET
Reviewed: Paul Simon's Best Album in 20 Years; Robbie Robertson's Ambitious New Disc

In this week's slate of Rolling Stone album reviews, Will Hermes praises the vivid lyrics and sharply syncopated grooves of Paul Simon's new album So Beautiful or So What, declaring it his best disc since 1990's The Rhythm of the Saints. Also, David Fricke digs Robbie Robertson's ambitious new solo album How to Become Clairvoyant, Rob Sheffield salutes the "bass-heavy groove-bombs" on Fujiya and Miyagi's latest and Hermes endorses the "shrieking guitar noise and zip-gun hooks" of the Brooklyn punk trio Mr. Dream's debut album.

On the singles front, Jody Rosen enjoys Ben Gibbard's turn as a "self-help guru on the new single by Death Cab For Cutie and Hermes likes the result of a team-up between Radiohead's Thom Yorke and British electronic producers Burial and Four Tet.

ALBUMS

Paul Simon - So Beautiful or So What

Robbie Robertson - How to Become Clairvoyant (stream entire album)

Ray Davies - See My Friends (stream one song)

Mr. Dream - Trash Hit (stream one song)

Fujiya and Miyagi - Ventriloquizzing (stream one song)

If By Yes - Salt on Sea Glass (stream one song)

SONGS

Death Cab for Cutie - "You Are A Tourist" (stream)

Dr. Dre featuring Swizz Beatz - "Chillin'" (stream)

Thom Yorke, Burial and Four Tet - "Ego" (stream)

The National - "Think You Can Wait" (stream)

LAST WEEK: Pearl Jam's Early Classics Reissued; Wiz Khalifa's Stoner Rap Debut and More

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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Song Stories

“Vicious”

Lou Reed | 1972

Opening Lou Reed's 1972 solo album, the hard-riffing "Vicious" actually traces its origin back to Reed's days with the Velvet Underground. Picking up bits and pieces of songs from the people and places around him, and filing his notes for later use, Reed said it was Andy Warhol who provided fuel for the song. "He said, 'Why don't you write a song called 'Vicious,'" Reed told Rolling Stone in 1989. "And I said, 'What kind of vicious?' 'Oh, you know, vicious like I hit you with a flower.' And I wrote it down literally."

More Song Stories entries »
 
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