Surprise - Paul Simon
Surprise Image
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 55 Ratings

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  • Summary: The singer-songwriter's first solo album in six years also marks his first collaboration with legendary producer and artist Brian Eno. (Finally, a worthy successor to Garfunkel!) Bill Frisell and Herbie Hancock guest.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. It's a bravura performance on both men's part.... A thrilling return to form.
  2. Unlike such deservedly praised comeback albums from some of his peers -- such as Dylan's Love and Theft, the Rolling Stones' A Bigger Bang, Paul McCartney's Chaos and Creation in the Backyard -- Simon doesn't achieve his comeback by reconnecting with the sound and spirit of his classic work; he has achieved it by being as restless and ambitious as he was at his popular and creative peak, which makes Surprise all the more remarkable.
  3. It’s almost as good as ['Hearts & Bones'], and likely to be as undervalued, but don’t worry: give it 20 years and its cadenced ruminations and instantly dated production will get some love from the usual suspects.
  4. There's no African or South American experimentation on display here, just a return to what Paul Simon does best - wonderfully wordy, literate songs wedded to some of the most lovely melodies you're likely to hear all year.
  5. 70
    Though couched in arrangements that sometimes camouflage their immediacy, the tunes are dependably strong. [Jul 2006, p.100]
  6. What is startling about Simon's latest solo effort is how fresh and alive it sounds.
  7. 50
    Simon wasn't born to sing over drum & bass. [Jun 2006, p.148]

See all 23 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 42
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 42
  3. Negative: 2 out of 42
  1. TiagoA
    Oct 20, 2009
    10
    Beautiful record!!!
  2. DaleK
    May 23, 2006
    10
    This is a great album! Paul's phrasing is confident, assured, each note is perfect. The music is interesting, and the sound thru This is a great album! Paul's phrasing is confident, assured, each note is perfect. The music is interesting, and the sound thru headphones is spacey and pleasant. A CD that will make you happy. Expand
  3. stevep
    Jun 20, 2006
    10
    Once again, Paul reinvents himself-A fresh new sound. This CD will get in your head and stay there-it is contagious. The lyrics and melodies Once again, Paul reinvents himself-A fresh new sound. This CD will get in your head and stay there-it is contagious. The lyrics and melodies are fantastic and the band showcasing Gadd on drums with Eno's landscapes will have you hooked. Expand
  4. LisaW
    May 15, 2006
    9
    Of his newer music, there cant be any comparison to Graceland, but I have been listening to it ever since it came out, and like it more and Of his newer music, there cant be any comparison to Graceland, but I have been listening to it ever since it came out, and like it more and more each time. no one has such a way with words as paul simon Expand
  5. BennyS
    Nov 19, 2006
    9
    This album gets better and better with each playing as one starts to put together the ENTIRE picture of this excellent work of art. Not for This album gets better and better with each playing as one starts to put together the ENTIRE picture of this excellent work of art. Not for the lazy minded. Thanks Paul! Expand
  6. Nov 21, 2010
    8
    A good album. So it isn't nearly the masterpiece that Rhythm of the Saints and Graceland were, but it is still pretty remarkable, especiallyA good album. So it isn't nearly the masterpiece that Rhythm of the Saints and Graceland were, but it is still pretty remarkable, especially as it represents an unprecedented fifth decade of great music from one of America's most talented artistic geniuses. To put it into context, I can't think of any other musician who has ever managed more than three decades of great work. Expand
  7. CMiddleman
    Jun 10, 2006
    1
    good goddamn, this record is insipid

See all 42 User Reviews