Coming off the heels of a soul-searching expedition to South Africa, Paul Simon’s diverse 1986 masterpiece, Graceland, is certainly a standout among the musical themes of the decade. Incorporating everything from pop music to isicathamiya singing, Graceland proved that Simon could still be daring. Combining his intellectual New York poetic styles into a complexity of sound, covering his previous melancholy with an ebullient bite of upbeat dance, Simon manages one of the most accomplished and inspired pieces of work any singer/songwriter has ever put forth. All of the tracks are so engrossing, so vivid in life that they are like chapters in a literary masterpiece full of love, pain and self-affirmation. To this day, still, Graceland carries the punch of an album, not made, but grown from musical genius, built to last, made to endure the ticking of the clock and the changing of the tides,  never fading and never breaking. If there is anything that solidified Simon’s legendary status, it was this almost unparalleled work of mainstream musical experimentation.


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