Review Summary: Words cannot describe how brilliant this album is from front to back. One of Simon and Garfunkel's greatest accomplishments.From the moment of my birth too the instant of my death, there are patterns I must follow just as I must breathe each breath. Like a rat in a maze, the path before me lies, and the pattern never alters until the rat dies
There’s no denying that Simon and Garfunkel are two of the most important figures of the ‘60s and a huge influence on music in general. Who wouldn’t want to be like them? One had a voice that could stop an angel in its tracks and the other could pen songs that others only dream of writing about in their sleep. Mix these two qualities together and you have one of the best folk groups to ever emerge from, well, anywhere. Throughout their career the band constantly proved they were the real deal, and every album was full of surprises as well as their knack for strong lyricism and harmony. However, their most consistent album was undoubtedly their 1966 effort Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme.
For evidence of Paul Simon’s songwriting ability, one doesn’t need to look any further than the fantastic closing track ‘7 O'Clock News/Silent Night.’ I’ve heard countless versions of ‘Silent Night’, but never have I experienced such a unique, daring take on the song. Due to the tragic events that are being broadcasted at the same time as the duo harmonizes to the holiday favorite, it doesn’t really feel like a christmas song. It’s highly ironic to hear them sing All is Calm
or Sleep in Heavenly Peace
at the same time as we’re hearing about murder or people overdosing on narcotics-- but I think that’s the point. The world isn’t a perfect place, and the song clearly paints this picture, managing make you think long after it’s over. It’s also a change of pace from the rest of the album, which contains some of the most quirky and upbeat folk tunes of the band’s career.
takes a few listens to really digest. It may not have a song as huge as 'The Boxer’ or 'The Sounds of Silence’, but overall it’s their most coherent album as it smoothly flows from track to track. The highly recognized 'Scarborough Fair’ kicks things off properly with mesmerizing vocal harmonies and they continue to deliver until the album’s fantastic final moments. The instrumentation is also delightful as twangy guitars and light drumming spice up many tracks like the phenomenal 'Patterns’, but they never steal the show from the gorgeous vocals and thought-provoking lyrics.
This isn’t one of those albums where you tell yourself these
are the best songs, because every damn track is so beautiful or quirky that it’s more about the experience as a whole than the individual songs. The only way to hear Parsley
is to hear it from front to back, and on repeat. Then you’ll realize it really is quite possibly the duo’s greatest achievement as it’s difficult to find any flaws within it. It’s absolutely essential for any fan of the band or folk music in general and a true classic of the genre. Words cannot describe.