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CD Review: Paul Simon 

Songwriter (Columbia/Legacy)

Paul Simon hand-picked the 32 songs featured on his latest compilation, a two-disc set that focuses on his nearly 50-year career as a songwriter. And as you would expect from an occasionally cranky musician who draws a line between artist and entertainer, it's not filled with his most popular hits (though some of them, like "Still Crazy After All These Years" and "Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes," are here). Several of Simon's best songs are featured in different versions — live takes of "The Sound of Silence" and "The Boxer," Aretha Franklin's cover of "Bridge Over Troubled Water" — and there's a sizable chunk of space devoted to his recent solo albums, which most fans would agree are far from his finest. Still, Songwriter's self-curated collection reveals personal insight into Simon's storied past — Gallucci

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